On September 13, 2013, the commissioner of securities in Georgia revoked the registrations of broker Paul J. Marshall and his companies, known collectively as “The Bridge Entities.”
Marshall owned and controlled Bridge Securities, LLC; Bridge Equity, Inc., and FOGFuels, Inc.
The revocation of registration came after the Atlanta Division of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia ordered a freeze on Marshall’s assets, following a complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission against Marshall on September 11, 2013.
The SEC alleged that Marshall misappropriated at least $2 million from his advisory clients up until at least July 2013. The complaint claims that Marshall told his clients to transfer funds into his personal bank accounts so that he could make investments. Marshall instead used the money to cover personal expenses.
To cover up his fraudulent actions, according to the SEC, Marshall gave his clients fraudulent account statements that listed investments that did not exist and investment returns that were illusory.
Marshall was a FINRA-registered broker at the Atlanta-based American Wealth Management, Inc., from 2008 to 2011. He was registered with Oppenheimer & Co, Inc., in Longboat Key, Florida, from 2004 to 2008, and worked with Bear, Stearns & Co., Inc., from 2002 to 2004.
Marshall formed Bridge Equity in December 2010. In January 2011, Marshall left American Wealth Management, and formed Bridge Securities soon after.
Bridge Securities had eight advisory clients by April 2011, with assets totaling around $3 million. A number of the advisory clients were elderly.
Marshall advised his clients to invest in a variety of securities, including J.P. Morgan mutual funds. He misleadingly told his clients that Bridge Securities had established a working relationship with J.P. Morgan, adding that Bridge Securities was now “powered by J.P. Morgan,” and instructed his clients to transfer money into J.P. Morgan accounts.
Marshall had complete control over these accounts, and told his clients that the funds would be used to purchase securities. He used $2 million from these accounts to cover his own alimony payments to his ex-wife, private school tuition and summer camps for his children, and luxury vacations. Marshall’s clients were given fictitious account statements claiming that the clients’ money had gone towards securities.
Additionally, one of Marshall’s clients transferred approximately $100,000 to a J.P. Morgan account controlled by Marshall under the impression that the money would be invested in FOGFuels, an environmental company owned by Marshall that purportedly seeks to create alternative fuels. The client was told that the money would go towards FOGFuel’s marketing materials, corporate expenses, and research and development for the company. Instead, the money went towards Marshall’s other personal expenses.
The SEC alleges that Marshall, the Bridge Entities, and FOGFuels acted with an intent to deceive clients, seriously violating the law.
The commission ordered a temporary restraining order against Marshall and his employees and associates, in addition to placing a freeze on his assets and requiring disgorgement of any ill-gotten gains.
Please contact Blau & Malmfeldt at 312-443-160, or email Paul Malmfeldt at firstname.lastname@example.org for a no-obligation consultation regarding possible recovery options. Blau & Malmfeldt is a law firm that represents investors throughout the United States in securities, commodity futures, partnership and shareholder rights disputes.