Ex-Google engineer sentenced to 18 months in prison for stealing self-driving car files

Ex-Google engineer sentenced to 18 months in prison for stealing self-driving car files
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Anthony Levandowski, a former Uber executive, was sentenced to 18-months in prison on Tuesday after pleading guilty to stealing proprietary self-driving car technology from Google, which he had previously worked for.

Levandowski pleaded guilty to the theft of trade secrets in March. In his admission, Levandowski said that he had stolen over 20 files from the tech giant. He was initially charged with 33 counts of theft and attempted theft of trade secrets, though the plea deal reduced it to just one count.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup said in sentencing that Levandowski had stolen the equivalent of a “competitor’s game plan," Reuters reports.

He will begin his sentence once the coronavirus pandemic had subsided, Alsup added.

According to the wire service, Levandowksi declared bankruptcy a couple weeks before accepting the plea deal. He reportedly owes Google $179 million stemming from litigation surrounding actions that he took prior to leaving the company at the beginning of 2016.