Trump pardons former Google engineer Anthony Levandowski By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Former Uber engineer Anthony Levandowski leaves the federal court after his arraignment hearing in San Jose

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he had given a full pardon to a former Google engineer sentenced for stealing a trade secret on self-driving cars months before he briefly headed Uber Technologies (NYSE:) Inc’s rival unit.

Anthony Levandowski, 40, was sentenced in August to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty in March. He was not in custody but a judge had said he could enter custody once the COVID-19 pandemic subsided.

The White House said Levandowski was “an American entrepreneur who led Google’s efforts to create self-driving technology.”

The statement added he had “paid a significant price for his actions and plans to devote his talents to advance the public good.” Alphabet (NASDAQ:) Inc’s Google did not immediately comment.

Levandowski transferred more than 14,000 Google files, including development schedules and product designs, to his personal laptop before he left, and while negotiating a deal with Uber, where he briefly led its self-driving car unit.

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