Heirs of an Algonquin eye doctor charged with murder ordered to pay victim’s daughter $4M

Judgment filed in Cook County Court against son, daughter and sister of Anthony Prate

Malgorzata “Margaret” Daniel photographed in an undated family photo.

The family of an Algonquin eye doctor who was awaiting trial on murder charges when he died from COVID-19 was ordered to pay the victim’s daughter $4 million, according to an order filed in Cook County Circuit Court.

Dominika Daniel, 29, of Itasca, the daughter of Malgorzata “Margaret” Daniel, 48, who Anthony Prate allegedly stabbed to death in her Schaumburg condominium in 2019, filed the lawsuit in 2022 claiming wrongful death and fraud.

Last week’s $4 million judgement is against Prate’s children Nicolas Prate, 24, and Ava Prate, 21, his sister Donna Meyer (also known as Donna Crafton), the Prate estate and a trust which includes their Algonquin house, according to the lawsuit filed by Chicago-based Robbins DiMonte.

“Prate intentionally stabbed [Daniel] with intent to injure or kill, and/or with knowledge that stabbing was likely to kill [Daniel],” according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit states that Dominika Daniel and her sister Patrycja “Tricia” Daniel, 31, are listed as their mother’s only heirs and have suffered “personal and pecuniary loss.”

Their loss includes the “loss of money, benefits, goods, services, companionship, society, and emotional support … grief, sorrow, and mental anguish,” as a result of their mother’s death.

Daniel worked as a nurse anesthetist at Amita Health St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates when she met Prate, 57, online. Prate was a partner in Eye Works Ltd., which at the time had offices in Barrington and Lake Zurich.

They had been dating for a few months before, police and prosecutors alleged, Prate stabbed her nearly 30 times after a dinner party at her home. She died Nov. 23, 2019, according to an online obituary.

Before Prate called 911, he made at least three other phone calls, court records show. Prate waited at least 20 minutes before calling 911, Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Glendon Runk had said in a Cook County courtroom in Rolling Meadows shortly after Prate’s arrest.

Runk said that Daniel was stabbed several times in her back. Prate did not try to give her CPR or help her.

In the days following Prate’s arrest, while held in the Cook County jail, he was heard on several recorded phone calls to his son, daughter and sister, the lawsuit said.

In those calls he was giving specific direction to his son and sister to transfer “hundreds of thousands” of dollars out of accounts in his name and into theirs.

“He expressed concerns regarding his personal liability and the likelihood of future lawsuits pertaining to the death of Malgorzata,” the lawsuit said of the recorded conversations.

Prate also “stated his desire to transfer all his assets to his children and sister in order to avoid potential future liability,” the lawsuit said.

Between Nov. 26, 2019, and Jan. 5, 2020, Prate made several recorded phone calls from jail to his children and sister.

Transcripts of the recorded conversations were attached to the lawsuit, which also alleges that the transfers were made as Prate had instructed while in jail.

The accounts in Prate’s name that he directed to be transferred include several hundreds of thousand of dollars “in various checking and savings accounts” as well as a $600,000 life insurance policy and $500,000 in mutual funds, according to the lawsuit.

“On November 27, 2019, during a telephone call with Ava and Nicolas, Prate discussed liquidation of his assets and transfer of the family home and cars from his name into Nicolas and Ava’s names,” according to the lawsuit.

In other phone calls Prate is heard reassuring his kids that they will be taken care of financially, how to secure new health and car insurance, and that Daniel’s death is not as it is being described.

“I know how it sounds,” Prate is heard telling his son. “You know it sounds really, really, really bad. We can’t talk about it over the phone but it’s ... it’s not true. You know, you know what they do. They, they, they, they, they magnify and exaggerate, and twist, and distort, because they try to make a case and all that kind of stuff. So just understand that it’s not as, as, as grotesque as it seems.”

He also is heard telling his daughter not to worry about him and that jail is “kind of like vacation ... but just not quite as nice.”

He later describes it as a “sociological experiment.”

Prate was charged with first-degree murder in Cook County. He was out of jail on a $300,000 cash bail, 10% of his total $3 million bond, living with his mother on an ankle monitor in Tinley Park when he contracted COVID-19.

That $300,000 bail money also is part of the judgment.

Daniel’s death reignited an interest in the death of Prate’s wife in 2011. Bridget Prate, 45, was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital following a car crash in Lake in the Hills.

Following conflicting autopsies and a lengthy investigation, no one – including Prate, who was driving the vehicle and emerged from the crash with minor injuries – was charged in connection with her death.

Attempts for comment from attorneys representing Prate’s children and sister were not immediately successful.