Among President Trump’s final acts in workplace is to pardon a former Google engineer who was founded guilty of stealing trade secrets. Anthony Levandowski worked for Google’s self-driving automobile division, now called Waymo, before delegating found Otto, a self-driving truck business that was acquired by Uber. He was sentenced to 18 months in jail in August, with judge William Alsup explaining the occurrence as the “biggest trade secret crime I have ever seen.”
Levandowski was found to have downloaded thousands of files to his laptop computer before he left Google and entered into sale conversations. Uber eventually fired him after Google sued, and Levandowski remains in a legal battle with the ride-hailing business, declaring it must be liable for the $179 million he was purchased to pay Google. In a different suit, Levandowski has argued Uber owes him billions of dollars in lost value from the Otto offer.
My family and I are grateful for the chance to move on, and grateful to the President and others who supported and advocated on my behalf.
— Anthony Levandowski (@antlevandowski) January 20,2021
Levandowski never started his sentence, as Alsup permitted it to be postponed indefinitely because of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a declaration from the White House, Levandowski’s pardon was supported by figures from the tech market consisting of controversial billionaire investor Peter Thiel, fellow Creators Fund partner Trae Stephens, Thiel Capital COO Blake Masters, Hollywood agent and Palantir advisor Michael Ovitz, and Oculus and Anduril creator Palmer Luckey.
Alongside Levandowski, Trump has actually pardoned 72 other people and travelled the jail sentences of 70 more. Trump also approved a pardon to Steve Bannon, the previous Breitbart News boss who served as chief strategist to Trump up until his acrimonious departure in2017
Update, Jan 20 th, 3.45 AM: Added Levandowski’s tweet.
Correction: a previous variation of this story misidentified a business co-founded by Palmer Luckey.