One of President Trump’s last actions in office is to pardon a former Google engineer convicted of stealing trade secrets. Anthony Lewandowski worked for Google’s self-driving car division, now known as Waymo, before leaving to found Auto, the self-driving truck company that Uber has acquired. It was Rule To 18 months in prison in August, with Judge William Allsopp describing the incident as “the biggest trade secret crime I have ever seen.”
Levandowski was found to have downloaded thousands of files to his laptop before leaving Google and entering sales discussions. Uber eventually fired him after Google filed a lawsuit, and Lewandowski is still in a legal battle with the carrier, claiming that it should be responsible for the $ 179 million it was ordered to pay to Google. In a separate lawsuit, Lewandowski said Uber owed him billions of dollars lost from the Otto deal.
Lewandowski never started his sentence, as ALSOP allowed it to be postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. according to statement From the White House, Lewandowski’s amnesty was backed by figures from the tech industry, including controversial billionaire investor Peter Thiel, fellow fund co-founder Trey Stevens, COO at Thele Capital Blake Masters, Hollywood agent and consultant Blantyre Michael Ovitz, founder of Oculus and Anduril. Palmer Locke.
Besides Lewandowski, Trump pardoned 72 others and reduced prison sentences for 70 others. The list includes rapper Lil Wayne, who pleaded guilty to a gun possession charge last year, and Kodak Black, who is currently imprisoned on gun charges. Trump also granted an amnesty to Steve Bannon, the former Breitbart News chief who served as Trump’s chief strategist until his sharp departure in 2017.
correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified a company that was co-founded by Palmer Locke. It’s Anduril, not Palantir. We are sorry for the error.