Thomas Kallies Dec. 11, 2013, 8:01am

Zurich American Insurance Co. filed suit in the Cook County Circuit Court on Dec. 4 against Michael A. Prate and Michael A. Prate Inc.

Zurich is suing Prate, a Lake County resident, for money Prate allegedly owes Zurich under an insurance agreement and a court order. Zurich claims it provided workers' compensation and other insurance to Prate from 2000 to 2008 for which Prate has not paid.

By 2007, the complaint alleges that Prate owed about $700,000. At this time, Zurich claims Prate acknowledged owing the money and issued a promissory note to the insurance company that required him to make monthly payments.

Zurich, however, contends that Prate never began to make payments and instead, has been systematically draining his company of assets in an attempt to skirt the payments.

According to the suit, Prate is the sole shareholder of Michael A. Prate Inc. and wields all power over monetary distributions. Zurich accuses him of paying out more than $650,000 to himself in order to become insolvent and avoid paying Zurich the total amount due.

Zurich is seeking a judgment against Prate in an amount more than $1.2 million, the money allegedly owed to Zurich under the insurance agreement. Zurich is being represented by attorney Jordan A. Stein.

Circuit Court of Cook County Case No. 2013L013756.

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note, a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt, and it only represents one side of the story.

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