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Tips to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission have surged in recent weeks -official

WASHINGTON, May 12 (Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been handling a surge in tips, complaints and referrals that have come into the agency since mid-March, an agency official said on Tuesday.

The agency has received over 4,000 such tips since mid-March, representing a 35% increase over the same period a year ago, Steven Peikin, co-director of the SEC's Enforcement Division, told attendees of a virtual conference. (Reporting by Chris Prentice Editing by Chris Reese)