Trump forgives former Google engineer Anthony Levandowski

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US President Donald Trump said Wednesday he pardoned a former Google engineer convicted of stealing a self-driving car trade secret months before briefly running Uber Technologies’ rival unit. Inc.

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

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

The statement added that he had “paid a significant price for his shares and plans to devote his talents to furthering the public good.” Google of Alphabet Inc did not immediately comment.

Levandowski transferred more than 14,000 Google files, including product development and design programs, to his personal laptop before leaving and while negotiating a deal with Uber, where he briefly drove his self-driving car unit.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Clarence Fernandez