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Yahoo BusinessAug 04, 2020
Ex-Google Engineer Levandowski's Jump to Uber Ends in Prison
(Bloomberg) -- Autonomous driving engineer Anthony Levandowski was ordered to spend 18 months in prison for stealing trade secrets from Google as he defected to Uber Technologies Inc., in one of the highest-profile criminal cases to hit Silicon Valley.U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco imposed the sentence Tuesday after Levandowski pleaded for mercy and prosecutors said anything short of locking him up would render similar crimes by future engineers a mere cost of doing business. Alsup subtracted nine months from what government lawyers wanted, and said the engineer should serve his term only once the coronavirus has been wiped away from prisons.The 40-year-old father of two's downfall is a saga of avarice and betrayal that left all involved looking bad."This was the biggest trade-secret crime I have ever seen," Alsup said, citing his decades of experience as a defense lawyer and judge. "It was massive in scale," with the stolen trade secrets amounting to "a game plan that the opposing coach would love to have."The judge also expressed a deep admiration for Levandowski, repeatedly calling him a "brilliant engineer," and "maybe the best I have ever seen." Telling him that "it pains me to do this to you," Alsup explained that in white-collar cases especially, deterring would-be thieves is paramount. The judge ordered the engineer to give "Why I went to federal prison" speeches to the public.Read More: Ex-Uber Engineer Bankrupt After $179 Million Google RulingLevandowski's guilty plea, af
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