A New Jersey debt-collection agency and its in-house lawyer have been hit with a $695,000 race-bias verdict in favor of an employee the lawyer didn’t even know.

A federal court jury in Trenton, N.J., found that Laurence Hecker of Toms River, N.J., and APM Financial Services, the debt-collection servicing company he represented, were dual employers and therefore jointly liable for discriminating against a black employee, Steven Bess.

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