Former Waymo And Uber Self-Driving Guru Anthony Levandowski Charged With Federal Crimes

Levandowski at right.
Levandowski at right.
Photo: AP

Anthony Levandowski, the self-driving car wunderkind at the center of one of the most high-profile lawsuits in Silicon Valley history, was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury with 33 counts of theft of trade secrets.


The indictment is closely related to the circumstances of the protracted legal battle between Waymo, Google’s self-driving car unit, and Uber, the company Levandowski went to work for after abruptly quitting Waymo.

The U.S. Attorney’s office alleges Levandowski stole “numerous engineering, manufacturing, and business files related to Google’s custom LiDAR and self-driving car technology. The files downloaded included circuit board schematics, instructions for installing and testing LiDAR, and an internal tracking document.”

As the New York Times noted, lawsuits relating to trade secret theft are not uncommon, but criminal charges against executives sure is. If convicted, Levandowski faces “a maximum sentence of 10 years and a fine of $250,000, plus restitution, for each violation,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Last we heard from Levandowski, he was no longer quite as bullish on autonomous vehicles as he had once been, instead working on a new startup called Pronto AI he founded which would be focused on semi-autonomous vehicles with human drivers.


You can read the indictment below:

Former Senior Reporter, Investigations & Technology, Jalopnik


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Prosecutor: You’re about to get waymo criminal charges.