Trump pardons convicted ex-Google engineer Anthony Levandowski

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One of President Trump’s ultimate acts in administrative center is to pardon a former Google engineer who was once convicted of stealing business secrets and techniques. Anthony Levandowski labored for Google’s self-driving automobile department, now referred to as Waymo, earlier than leaving to discovered Otto, a self-driving truck corporate that was once bought by means of Uber. He was once sentenced to 18 months in jail in August, with pass judgement on William Alsup describing the incident because the “largest business secret crime I’ve ever noticed.”

Levandowski was once discovered to have downloaded hundreds of information to his computer earlier than he left Google and entered into sale discussions. Uber in the end fired him after Google sued, and Levandowski stays in a prison fight with the ride-hailing corporate, claiming it will have to be chargeable for the $179 million he was once ordered to pay Google. In a separate swimsuit, Levandowski has argued Uber owes him billions of bucks in misplaced worth from the Otto deal.

Levandowski by no means started his sentence, as Alsup allowed it to be not on time indefinitely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a statement from the White House, Levandowski’s pardon was once supported by means of figures from the tech business together with arguable billionaire investor Peter Thiel, fellow Founders Fund spouse Trae Stephens, Thiel Capital COO Blake Masters, Hollywood agent and Palantir marketing consultant Michael Ovitz, and Oculus and Anduril founder Palmer Luckey.

Alongside Levandowski, Trump has pardoned 72 different folks and commuted the jail sentences of 70 extra. The record comprises rappers Lil Wayne, who pled to blame to a firearms ownership fee final yr, and Kodak Black, who’s lately in jail on guns fees. Trump additionally granted a pardon to Steve Bannon, the previous Breitbart News boss who served as leader strategist to Trump till his acrimonious departure in 2017.

Update, Jan 20th, 3.45AM: Added Levandowski’s tweet.

Correction: a prior model of this tale misidentified an organization co-founded by means of Palmer Luckey. It is Anduril, no longer Palantir. We remorseful about the mistake.

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