Debt Collector Created Fake Courtroom To Coerce People To Pay

Unicredit America Inc., the Erie, Pa.-based collection agency that used a fake courtroom to coerce debtors to pay, could have to pay more than $1.2 million in penalties pending a ruling by Senior Erie County Judge John A. Bozza.

The figure, presented by Pennsylvania's Attorney General's office during a hearing Friday, is based on the office's legal costs and the number of Unicredit-related complaints it handled. The office is specifically seeking civil fines and costs from Michael J. Covatto, who had been Unicredit's president.

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