TD Bank Forces Bankruptcy on High-Performing Vertamin—CEO Ray Kuate Fights Back

Ray Kuate is a businessman who has survived adversity in his own country of Cameroon. He was partially paralyzed from legs down after having polio as a child. He received two MBAs—one from the University of California Berkeley, and the other from Columbia University—before settling in Canada to start the Vertamin company.

The company grew to be worth over $10.5 million by 2014, and Ray was pleased to provide employment to his small community of employees. Sadly, in 2014, TD Bank called in their $1 million line of credit loan, forcing Vertamin to have no other option but to declare bankruptcy. But Ray’s story doesn’t end here. He decided to fight back.

Why Did It All Go Wrong?

The lawsuit was filed on December 24, 2015, and formally announced on February 24, 2016 as: Raymond Kuate vs. the Toronto-Dominion Bank Case #: 15-66988, in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. In it, Vertamin alleges that TD Bank provided no warning about calling in the line of credit to this company, nor gave any warning, written, verbal, or otherwise.

In fact, in Canadian laws required by the Supreme Court of Canada, a business must be granted a reasonable length of time to repay a line of credit, even if it’s a bad situation. In this case it wasn’t, Vertamin expected to pay back its line of credit in future quarters.

With the demand to pay back the full amount of the $1 million line of credit, this guaranty also included the demand that it be paid immediately by the Vertamin Inc. corporation and Raymond Kuate, who was the guarantor. Unfortunately, there was little choice but to file for bankruptcy protection, as the business hadn’t even completed its most profitable quarter of the year yet. This led to Vertamin’s bankruptcy on Christmas Eve 2014.

Vertamin Inc. was a successful online video advertising network company based in Ottawa, Ontario who provided a unique niche in the world of business. It was the realization of Ray Kuate’s childhood hopes and dreams. It is evident of his great struggle to survive a handicap, realize his dream of studying in America, and then starting a successful business in Canada. How one bank can take this away from him is unthinkable.

Why do the banks of Canada have so much power? Even for businesses who are truly struggling, it should not be up to one executive at a bank to decide to call in a loan or a line of credit, without even any form of communication to the business owner.

Canada stands for freedom, equality, and diversity. TD Bank has just demonstrated to the entire country that it stands apart from these values, and can and will do what it wants.

About the Lawsuit

In the court documents, they state that at the time of TD Bank’s formal demands, the corporation of Vertamin Inc. was being led by their CEO, Raymond Kuate. He had formal education from Columbia University and the University of California, where he obtained an MBA. He then started a successful online video advertising network company.

In Ray’s official statement he talks about how no bank, no matter their size or power, should ever “be allowed to prey on a business, ending its viability in one fell swoop and without reasonable time to pay back, not in accordance with law, but simply because they can”.

As a result, the business had to shut down its operations, and lay off all of its staff. Ray was heartbroken. He said Vertamin was one big family, and he was devastated that he let so many people down. From the beginning, he had made many promises to staff that he would not let them or their families down. Many of his staff left other jobs so they could work with him. It was also equally devastating to have to deliver the news on Christmas Eve.

In times of when many corporations care nothing about their employees, it has been refreshing to see one who did truly care about their staff. Ray likened what happened to his company as what could happen to an individual.

He talked about how you could imagine that you’d wake up one day to find that your bank wanted the full amount of your car loan back, or payment in full for the mortgage you had with them, or even the line of credit you had with them. And imagine that they give you no notice to even get your affairs in order. How would you cope? Where would you live the next day?

Ray Kuate has decided to fight back by filing the lawsuit against TD Bank. Don’t let other small businesses suffer because one person signed a slip of paper without considering consequences.

Fundraising Efforts to Help Ray Kuate

A fundraiser on GoFundMe has been started by Ray Kuate to help him raise money to pay the legal costs which will be required to fight TD Bank. You can find the fundraiser and more information about the process at Ray Kuate & Vertamin vs. TD Bank Gofundme account.

Ray Kuate has made the affirmation that he believes in hard work and no short cuts. Help him to stop TD Bank from shutting down other high-profiting businesses without just cause.

Let’s Give All Small Business Owners the Support They Need 

I for one, am supporting Ray Kuate, and am extremely glad that he has brought this case before the Supreme Court of Canada. Perhaps together, we Canadians can fight against the power that the banks hold in Canada.

If Ray’s fight can keep another successful business from having to declare bankruptcy, it will have been worth it.

To Learn More About the Lawsuit

You can find out more information from the following links.

The Facebook page You the People.

The Vertamin Inc. campaign on Gofundme.

Here are some media contacts, should you wish to learn more, or have some information to offer.

Media Contacts:

Email: pkapend@praya.co   or rkuate@praya.com

Phone : (613) 897 8526 or (343) 777 0268

The Devastating Effects of the Vancouver 2015 Earthquake

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4.3 Earthquake on December 30, 2015


by Mel Dawn

Vancouverites everywhere are recovering from the effects of the 4.3 earthquake from last night. They were enjoying one of the first peaceful nights since Christmas when a hard jolt shook them awake.

It’s unknown how long it will take Vancouverites to recover, and clean up the mess, but one thing’s certain, they’re tough and as resilient as the hockey they enjoy.

Oh no, not the Timmy’s drink!

It’s hard to tell if it was like this before or after the earthquake.

There goes one fine glass of whine.

 ***~***

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The TransLink Plebiscite for Vancouver

These are my exact thoughts on the referendum. All residents in my region of New Westminster have voted NO in an informal poll.

Colleen Anderson

Greater Vancouver, transit plebiscite, rapid transit We all want better SkyTrain service where it doesn’t break down, people aren’t mugged and it runs as late as the clubs, but at what price. From the http://mayorscouncil.ca/vancouver/ site.

Greater Vancouver is undergoing a plebiscite or referendum (it’s being called both) about whether to increase our provincial sales tax by .5% to cover upgrades to transit infrastructure. It’s becoming quite a fight because TransLink, the arms length governing body (so you can point fingers directly at the provincial government), has had an extremely bad history of providing good and competent governance and spending.

TransLink talked about the Evergreen line (rapid transit trains), scheduled to go east toCoquitlam and environs for twenty-some years. It’s been nicknamed the Nevergreen line. There were plans and then there weren’t plans. They had no money, they did have money. The reasoning changed back and forth. There have been other indications of incompetence which…

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Ever Wished That Calvin and Hobbes Creator Bill Watterson Would Return to the Comics Page? Well, He Just Did.

Welcome back Bill Watterson! Let’s hope he comes out of retirement now.

Pearls Before Swine

Bill Watterson is the Bigfoot of cartooning.

He is legendary. He is reclusive. And like Bigfoot, there is really only one photo of him in existence. 

Few in the cartooning world have ever spoken to him. Even fewer have ever met him.

In fact, legend has it that when Steven Spielberg called to see if he wanted to make a movie, Bill wouldn’t even take the call.

So it was with little hope of success that I set out to try and meet him last April.

I was traveling through Cleveland on a book tour, and I knew that he lived somewhere in the area. I also knew that he was working with Washington Post cartoonist Nick Galifianakis on a book about Cul de Sac cartoonist Richard Thompson’s art.

So I took a shot and wrote to Nick. And Nick in turn wrote to Watterson.

And the meeting…

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