(Reuters) — A U.S. pass judgement on on Tuesday sentenced former Google engineer Anthony Levandowski to 18 months in jail for stealing a business secret from Google associated with self-driving vehicles months prior to changing into the top of Uber’s rival unit.
U.S. District Pass judgement on William Alsup in San Francisco stated Levandowski, who was once convicted on Tuesday following a March plea settlement, may input custody as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided.
Alsup stated a sentence wanting imprisonment would have given “a inexperienced mild to each and every long run good engineer to thieve business secrets and techniques,” evaluating what Levandowski took to a “competitor’s recreation plan.”
The 75-year-old pass judgement on, who has been fascinated with Silicon Valley litigation for just about 5 a long time, described Levandowski’s conviction because the “largest business secret crime I’ve ever noticed.”
“Billions [of dollars] sooner or later have been at play, and when the ones sorts of monetary incentives are there, excellent folks will do horrible issues, and that’s what took place right here,” Alsup stated.
Prosecutors sought a 27-month jail sentence.
Levandowski asked one-year confinement at his Marin County house, contending that bouts with pneumonia lately would make him prone to loss of life from the unconventional coronavirus whilst in jail. His legal professionals requested the pass judgement on to imagine that investigators discovered no proof “Levandowski used any of Google’s business secrets and techniques after leaving Google’s employment.”
Levandowski transferred greater than 14,000 Google information, together with construction schedules and product designs, to his non-public computer prior to leaving the corporate and whilst negotiating a care for Uber, the place he in short led its self-driving automobile unit.
Uber fired Levandowski in 2017 after which settled a lawsuit from Alphabet over the misuse of business secrets and techniques, environment again the ride-hailing corporate’s self-driving undertaking.
The dispute between the corporations is ongoing. Levandowski filed for chapter in March as a result of he owes $179 million to Alphabet’s (GOOGL.O) Google for his movements prior to resigning in January 2016.
Google final week requested the chapter pass judgement on to reject Uber’s argument that it’s not liable for paying the $179 million beneath his outdated employment settlement.
Levandowski, who now runs self-driving truck corporate Pronto, apologized to Google and stated he plans to proportion his tale of remorseful about with others within the tech business.
“Lately marks the tip of 3 and a part lengthy years and the start of every other lengthy street forward,” he stated in a remark.
(Reporting by way of Paresh Dave, enhancing by way of Leslie Adler.)