Annie Cosby Nov. 6, 2014, 8:00am

A Cook County insurance provider and its principal are suing over claims another company stole their clients.

Go Insurance Inc. and Iazir Ortiz filed suit Oct. 14 in Cook County Circuit Court against Amigo Insurance Inc. and Carlos Santiago.

According to the complaint, on March 11, the plaintiffs and defendants entered into discussions for the sale of the plaintiffs' book of business, and the defendants signed a letter of intent that was deemed not a legally binding agreement.

On April 10, the defendants requested access to Go Insurance's principle place of business to conduct due diligence, according to the suit. The next day, Go Insurance alleges it made the defendants sign a confidentiality agreement, prohibiting them from using client information for purposes other than analyzing the business for purchasing.

The plaintiffs claim the defendants began occupying the business that day and were allowed to accept payments from clients who appeared during that time. But, they say it turns out the defendants' employees were actually canceling clients' policies with Go Insurance and switching them to Amigo Insurance per Santiago's instruction, which the plaintiffs assert they did not learn until May 15.

According to the suit, from May 15 until Sept. 4, the parties were still in negotiations to proceed with the sale, but the plaintiffs learned the defendants continued to cancel their clients' policies, bringing their client base down from 139 to 27.

The defendants are accused of violating the Illinois Trade Secret Act, breach of contract and the Illinois Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

Go Insurance and Ortiz are seeking more than $94,400 in actual damages and $188,900 in punitive damages, as well as interest and attorney fees. They are represented by attorneys at Jackson Corporate Law Offices in Chicago.

Cook County Circuit Court case number: 2014L010634.

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court. 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 represents only one side of the story.

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