Former Google employee Anthony Lewandowski has been charged with theft and trade of trade secrets. According to US Attorney David L. Anderson, it is assumed that the engineer downloaded files related to the creation of unmanned vehicles that were used in his new startups from the company’s server.
Anthony Lewandowski worked at Google from 2009 to 2016, where he was involved in the development of various technologies for unmanned driving. Before leaving, he downloaded many files about creating them, including circuit board diagrams, installation instructions, test information, and much more.
Lewandowski is now charged with 33 cases of theft and sale of trade secrets. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to 250 thousand dollars. It is believed that the stolen data was used to create Ottomotto, which Uber acquired for $ 680 million.
In a conversation with the Los Angeles Times, prosecutors said Uber was not one of the targets of the prosecution. Prosecutors emphasized that the company actively collaborated with Google during the investigation.
This is Lewandowski’s second accusation of stealing trade secrets. In 2017, Waymo (an Alphabet division owned by Google) said it had stolen the company’s confidential documents. In their opinion, the engineer used them to create Ottomotto.
Also in 2017, Waymo filed a lawsuit against Uber because of the alleged use of their technology in creating unmanned cars. At the beginning of 2018, the parties settled the conflict: Uber transferred Waymo shares in the amount of $ 245 million (0.34%) and promised not to use the information received from Lewandowski. The engineer was fired from his job.