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Indian woman arrested in phone scam in US

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Washington: An Indian woman was sentenced to three years’ probation for money laundering. 25-year-old Nikita Patel now faces imminent deportation. She is accused of playing the part in a phone scam. Thousands of dollars were netted from the victims across 32 stated in this 170,000 USD phone scam.

She had worked as a “runner’’, her job was to pick up the money sent by people. Authorities said that she fooled everyone into believing that they were owning the Internal Revenue Services(IRS) back taxes.

She used to cut a deal for herself and then send the rest to India. All the fraudulent phone calls were originated in India, Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Brian Lynch said on Friday.

Another runner Akash S Patel was arrested with Nikita. Superior Court Judge Susan J Steele said that frauds like this perpetrated by her seem to be an endemic problem. She sentenced Nikita Patel to three years’ probation for a charge of money laundering on Friday.

The scam involved 72 people in 32 states, said the local prosecutors.

A deportation detainer was placed on her by the Federal government and as a result, she continues to be in jail.

The original charges on the ‘’runner’’ duo were the conspiracy to commit theft by deception. It is considered a second-degree crime. Nikita had pleaded guilty to third-degree money laundering according to the media reports.

Courts records stated that Akash pleaded guilty to a third-degree theft charge in November. He is also sentenced to probation and he has been since then deported.(Inputs from agencies)

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Microsoft Ready to Help Indian Startups, Says President Anant Maheshwari

Microsoft is focused as much on selling third party solutions as their own, and this co-sell motion has helped generate $8 billion in revenue for partners within 18 months

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FILE - Microsoft Corp. signage is seen outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Washington, July 3, 2014. VOA

Armed with a cutting-edge technology platform, a well-established partner organisation and an expansion of M12 venture fund, Microsoft is ready to help Indian startups across the spectrum embrace the next phase of growth, Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India, said here on Monday.

India, which saw a tremendous growth in the startup space in the last couple of years, is now witnessing a growth in the business-to-business (B2B) tech startups coming up with innovative ideas to deal with local problems.

“With our intelligent tech expertise, deep focus on trust and unique global go to market partnering, we empower unicorns and startups to scale sustainably at a global level,” said Maheshwari.

“We remain excited about India’s entrepreneurial startup potential and will continue to accelerate it as a growth engine for the economy,” he added.

India witnessed a dramatic rise of eight unicorns in 2018 from among the start-ups across verticals as against a mere nine in six years from 2011 till 2017, according to IT industry apex body Nasscom.

The start-ups joining the select club for their valuation over $1 billion are Oyo Rooms (hospitality), Zomato and Swiggy (food delivery), Udaan (retailer marketplace), Byju’s, (edu-tech), Paytm Mall (e-tail), Freshworks (software programmer) and Policybazaar (digital insurance).

Maheshwari said Microsoft is uniquely positioned to support Indian startups to achieve scale and evolve from market ready to enterprise ready.

Microsoft, Taiwan AI
A man walks past a Microsoft sign set up for the Microsoft BUILD conference at Moscone Center in San Francisco, April 28, 2015. VOA

The introduction of M12, Microsoft’s venture fund, in India in February is creating new value for startups, VCs and the company itself to maintain the pace and direction of innovation.

“M12 is looking at investing in innovators who have aligned their focus on cutting-edge technologies that better enable digital transformation. The portfolio development team at M12 is specifically built to help support and scale companies by leveraging the expansive resources of Microsoft,” said the company.

According to reports, venture capital investments in Indian tech business-to-business (B2B) start-ups have been trending upwards, with over $3.09 billion raised in equity funding across 415 deals in 2018 — 28 per cent more than $2.41 billion in 2017.

Also Read: Facebook’s Push to Become China’s WeChat May Kill it

Under the “Microsoft for Startups” initiative, startups can co-sell with Microsoft sales teams, get access to top tech VCs in the global arena and mentorship from industry veterans.

In less than 18 months, Microsoft for Startups has closed more than 120 co-sell deals with more than $126 million in active pipeline for startups.

Microsoft is focused as much on selling third party solutions as their own, and this co-sell motion has helped generate $8 billion in revenue for partners within 18 months. (IANS)