(Reuters) - Anthony Levandowski, a pioneer in self-using automobile era, was criminally charged on Tuesday with stealing alternate secrets and techniques from his former company Google before becoming a member of rival Uber technology Inc.

The 33-rely indictment made public by way of the U.S.

. Branch of Justice largely mirrors allegations that the Waymo unit of Google parent Alphabet Inc, in which Levandowski had worked, made in a 2017 civil lawsuit in opposition to Uber, which later settled.

His lawyers said Levandowski stole nothing, and they appeared ahead to proving his innocence at trial.

Levandowski, 39, pleaded now not guilty to the fees thru one in all his attorneys, at an arraignment before U.S. Magistrate choose Nathanael Cousins in San Jose, California.

The judge set a preliminary bail bundle of $300,000 cash and the pledging as collateral of two properties worth $2 million.

any other listening to to set final bail phrases turned into scheduled for Sept. Four, as government lawyers stated they wished greater time to evaluate Levandowski’s finances.

Levandowski surrendered his U.S. And French passports and will wear and ankle bracelet to monitor his whereabouts. A prosecutor expressed situation on the arraignment that Levandowski is probably a flight risk.

The defendant, who wore a blue sport jacket and black denims as his plea turned into entered, ought to resist 10 years in prison on each rely if convicted.

Levandowski’s prosecution is considered one of Silicon Valley’s maximum-profile trade secret theft instances, as engineers race to increase era for self-riding vehicles, which industry specialists view as a $1 trillion market opportunity inside three a long time.

Prosecutors accused Levandowski of stealing materials in late 2015 and early 2016 associated with Waymo’s self-driving vehicle generation.

They said he did this after figuring out to depart and shape his personal self-using company, Ottomotto, which Uber later bought.

The alleged stolen substances blanketed info related to Lidar, a crucial sensor technology, in keeping with the indictment.

every person are unfastened to change jobs, U.S. Attorney David Anderson said at a news conference. “however what we can't do is stuff our pockets at the manner out the door.”

Anderson declined to reply a reporter’s query on whether or not Uber could also face any crook costs. An Uber spokesman stated the organization had cooperated with the authorities at some point of its investigation and might maintain to achieve this.

Levandowski left Waymo in early 2016 and subsequently took over Uber’s self-riding automobile mission before being fired.

“For greater than a decade, Anthony Levandowski has been an enterprise-main innovator in self-driving technologies,” and the authorities’s case is a “rehash” of discredited claims, his attorney Miles Ehrlich told newshounds at the courthouse.

attorneys for Levandowski stated the downloads in query passed off even as their patron become nonetheless running at Waymo, and that he changed into legal to apply the facts.

Pronto, a self-using software program business enterprise that Levandowski co-founded in 2018, said in a assertion it changed him as chief government with Robbie Miller, who were chief protection officer. It additionally said it changed into “fully supportive” of Levandowski and his circle of relatives.

legal battles regarding Levandowski have cost Uber valuable time on its self-driving automobile challenge, visible as essential to its lengthy-time period profitability.

Levandowski did not testify on the trial among Waymo and Uber earlier than they settled, and has now not spoken publicly approximately it.

The lawsuit changed into another public controversy for Uber, which become trying to emerge from scandals underneath former leader executive Travis Kalanick, inclusive of over how it handled lady employees.

Kalanick had called self-riding automobiles an “existential” danger for the journey-hailing business enterprise.

Prosecutors stated there remain prison limits to competition.

“Silicon Valley is not the Wild West,” FBI unique agent in price John Bennett said at a information conference. “the fast tempo and aggressive surroundings does no longer suggest federal laws don’t practice or they can be unnoticed.”

Waymo said it liked prosecutors’ work on the case. “we've usually believed opposition ought to be fueled by using innovation,” a spokeswoman stated in a assertion.

Alphabet stocks closed down 36 cents at $1,a hundred and seventy.Eighty two, while Uber fell 20 cents to $33.11.