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FBI says $2.1 million reward paid to "Whitey" Bulger tipsters

By Lauren Keiper

BOSTON (Reuters) - The FBI has paid a $2.1 million reward to tipsters who provided information leading to the June arrests of former crime boss James "Whitey" Bulger and his girlfriend, who were captured after 16 years on the run together.

The reward money was paid to more than one individual, according to an FBI statement released on Friday. It did not identify the recipients.

Bulger, 82, and his longtime girlfriend Catherine Greig, 60, were arrested in Santa Monica, California, in June with a stash of about 30 firearms and $822,000 in cash hidden in holes in the wall of their apartment.

Just days ahead of the arrest, the FBI launched new televised public service announcements about the pair, aimed at female viewers who might have seen Greig.

The FBI had offered $2 million for information leading to the arrest of Bulger, who had been placed on the agency's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list in 1999. A $100,000 reward was offered for a tip that resulted in apprehending Greig.

Authorities said the information leading to the arrests was a direct result of the new media campaign.

Bulger fled Boston in late 1994 after receiving a tip from a corrupt FBI agent that federal charges were pending. Greig joined him a short time later and has been charged with harboring Bulger as a fugitive.

Bulger, who for years led the Boston-based Winter Hill Gang, faces charges that include 19 alleged murders from the 1970s and 1980s. Both Bulger and Greig have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston)

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