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Former Google, Uber Self-Driving Engineer Sentenced To 18 Months In Prison, Seeks $4.1B In Earnouts

Shivdeep Dhaliwal

A former engineer at Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG) subsidiary Waymo, who pleaded guilty to stealing secrets related to self-driving technology from the search engine giant and passing them on to Uber Technologies Inc. (NYSE: UBER), has been sentenced to 18 months in prison, TechCrunch reported Tuesday.

Prison Sentence A Lesson For Others, Judge Says

Anthony Levandowski agreed to pay restitution of $756,500 to Alphabet’s self-driving unit Waymo and a fine of $95,000. He will not have to go to prison till the time the COVID-19 crisis has passed.

Judge William Alsup denied Levandowski's request for a home confinement instead of a jail time, saying, it would, “[give] a green light to every future brilliant engineer to steal trade secrets."

"Prison time is the answer to that,” Alsup added.

The convicted engineer and the prosecutors agreed to a plea deal in March 2020, after he was charged with 33 counts of theft and attempted theft of trade secrets.

Engineer Seeks $4.1B Earnouts From Uber

Levandowski has brought a separate lawsuit as a part of his bankruptcy proceedings, claiming earnouts of about $4.13 billion related to Uber Freight, the new name of his trucking firm Otto Trucking, TechCrunch noted.

The engineer also wants to secure a $179 million payout from Uber under a purported indemnification agreement the company signed with him earlier. This is the same amount that was awarded to Alphabet in an earlier arbitration that led him to declare bankruptcy.

The lawsuit alleges that other Google employees also stole secrets. Uber and the search engine giant reportedly settled those theft-related matters.

Price Action

Alphabet Class A and Class C shares both closed 0.64% lower at $1,473.30 and 1,464.97, respectively, on Tuesday.

Uber stock closed about 4.8% higher at $32.68 per share and added another 0.4% in the after-hours.

Photo courtesy: Kaxelrod on Wikimedia.

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