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The Latest: $2M bond for engineer in self-driving theft case

August 27, 2019

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on self-driving theft case (all times local):

3:20 p.m.

Former Google engineer Anthony Levandowski has been released on a $2 million bond after being charged with stealing self-driving car technology from Google before joining Uber’s effort to build a fleet of robotic vehicles.

The bond consists of $300,000 of Levandowski’s cash and $1.7 million in property owned by his father, stepmother and a friend.

Government prosecutors have agreed to those terms, even while characterizing Levandowski as a flight risk because of his wealth and dual citizenship in the U.S. and France.

Levandowski, though, had already surrendered both passports to the FBI. He will also temporarily wear an ankle bracelet with GPS tracking and has been banned from stepping into any airport until further details of his release are negotiated.

Levandowski turned himself in earlier Tuesday before a 33-court indictment against him was announced.

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10:30 a.m.

A former Google engineer has been charged with stealing self-driving car technology from the company shortly before he joined Uber’s efforts to catch up in the high-stakes race to build robotic vehicles.

Anthony Levandowski, a pioneer in robotic vehicles, was charged with 33 counts of trade secrets theft. His lawyers deny wrongdoing, saying the charges rehash claims settled in a civil case.

The indictment filed Tuesday by the U.S. Attorney’s office in San Jose, California, is an offshoot of a lawsuit filed in 2017 by Waymo, a self-driving car pioneer spun off from Google. Uber agreed to pay Waymo $245 million to settle the case, but the federal judge overseeing the lawsuit made an unusual recommendation to open a criminal probe.

Uber considered having self-driving technology crucial to survive.

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This story has been corrected to remove reference to secrets being sold to Uber.

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