To settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it violated federal law, a debt collection firm and its owner have agreed to pay $2.25 million, the largest civil penalty obtained by the agency in a collection case.

Academy Collection Service Inc. of Philadelphia, owned by Keith Dickstein, "misled, threatened, and harassed consumers; disclosed their debts to third parties; and deposited postdated checks early, in violation of federal law," the FTC said Friday.

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