Former Google Executive Sentenced to 18 Months

Aug. 11, 2020
Anthony Levandowski sentenced for stealing self-driving car secrets.

Aug. 11, 2020—Anthony Levandowski, a former engineer for Google, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for trade secret theft across his employment in the self-driving industry.

After his time at Google, he took his experience—among other things—and founded a self-driving truck company called Otto. In 2016, Uber bought Otto, which opened Uber up to a lawsuit from Google's self-driving branch, Waymo. Waymo alleged that Uber conducted trade secret theft via its acquisition of Otto. 

Eventually, Uber and Waymo were able to reach an agreement, according to the Verge. But Levandowski still owes nearly $1 million in restitution to Google, a $95,000 fine, and according to a separate court ruling, he has been ordered to pay Waymo $179 million for poaching its engineers.