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SEC sees surge in fraud tip-offs: report

(Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has seen a surge in tip-offs concerning alleged corporate fraud as the Financial Reforms Act offers millions of dollars in bounty payments to whistleblowers, the Wall Street Journal said.

Whistleblowers who provide "original information" about large frauds could net as much as 30 percent of the penalties and recovered funds collected by the SEC under the Dodd-Frank financial reforms act.

"We have gotten some very high-quality tips," SEC official Stephen Cohen told the Journal.

The whistleblower program aims to get timely information from insiders close to a fraud and based on which the agency would pursue cases against the offenders, the Journal said.

"The goal is not just to get more tips; we want to get more high-quality tips," Cohen told the paper.

SEC could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters outside regular U.S. business hours.

(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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