On January 27, 2012, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced the temporary
suspension, pursuant to Section 12(k) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, of trading in the securities of Onyx Service & Solutions, Inc. (OTCQB:ONYX
), of Greenwood
Village, CO commencing at 9:30 a.m. on January 27, 2012, and terminating at 11:59 p.m. on
February 9, 2012. The Commission temporarily suspended trading in the securities of ONYX because of questions
that have been raised about the accuracy and adequacy of publicly disseminated information
concerning, among other things, the company’s business projects and prospects.
As part of a deal to appease the SEC, Onyx had to complete an installation
of eight 330 watt solar panels on the roof of the West Bay Lodge in Roatan's West Bay area. The panels were provided gratis on the condition they be placed in view of the road to promote Onyx's services, despite the fact that the location faced west and offered little exposure to the day's sun. The panels were grid-tied with a Sunny Boy inverter. Estimated cost of the panels and inverter is around $3000 US. This was a far cry from the $84 million they were trying to raise for a 18.5 megawatt solar power plant.
It has been speculated from the exaggerated claims in Onyx's press releases that Onyx was merely attempting to raise the value of their stock only to sell their own shares once significant profits could be secured for the initial investors. This 'pump and dump' scheme is common, and Onyx indeed left Roatan with their tails between their legs and have since defaulted on their loans.
Onyx took a parting shot at Honduras and Roatan in their announcement to pull the plug on the Roatan solar power project:
"Though the project had garnered significant support from the local government and potential end-users, Onyx has determined that the current political, financial, and regulatory situation in Honduras presents an environment that is, at best, unfriendly to alternative energy projects," the company said in a statement.
Onyx had indeed rallied support for the proposed $84 million project but failed to mention to potential investors that they had no way to distribute the solar power should the project have been completed. They had made no contact with the local power utility Roatan Electric Company (RECO), nor had they made any arrangements to distribute the power via the island's power grid. Neither had they mentioned that Onyx has never installed a solar power plant anywhere other than the pitiful installation at West Bay Lodge that currently produces no more than $5 a day of savings on a sunny day -- a paltry fraction of the resort's daily electricity usage and certainly not even close to the hype in Onyx's press release.
Fortunately, Roatanians are no strangers to hucksters like Onyx and did not fall for the hype. Hopefully not too many investors lost their money in the process. ONYX CEO Malcolm Burleson and John Brotherton (who referred to himself as the 'financial guy') have not been heard from since.