Enlarge / Anthony Levandowski, VP of Engineering at Uber, speaking to reporters at the Uber Advanced Technologies Center on September 13, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (credit: ANGELO MERENDINO/AFP/Getty Images)
A former Google engineer, now working for Uber, used his Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination this week. He did so to avoid turning over documents in the Waymo v. Uber trade-secret litigation.
Anthony Levandowski, the head of Uber’s self-driving car project, took the extraordinary step during a closed court hearing on Wednesday. Levandowski’s lawyer said his client won’t be turning over any documents because there’s a “potential for criminal action.” The reports emerged because transcripts of the hearing were acquired by news organizations, including The New York Times, Reuters, and USA Today. 
Google has accused Levandowski of downloading 14,000 “highly confidential” files from Google while he worked there, 9.7 gigabytes in total.
Six weeks after the alleged downloads, Levandowski resigned and later started his own self-driving truck startup.

That company, Otto, was acquired by Uber for $680 million.
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