Metro Atlanta investment adviser accused of securities fraud

A Marietta man allegedly used investor funds to pay for vacations, child support and alimony, as well as private school tuition for his kids, according to a lawsuit filed this week by federal regulators.

Paul Marshall, 48, is accused in the civil proceeding of misusing at least $2 million in investor cash, according to a complaint filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Atlanta by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The SEC sought and received a judge’s order freezing assets belonging to Marshall and three of his companies, the regulator said Thursday.

Attempts to reach Marshall were not immediately successful.

Marshall controls Atlanta-based Bridge Securities LLC, which also does business as Bridge Financial. The SEC said he also runs Bridge Equity Inc. and FOGFuels Inc., described as an alternative energy firm trying to make “an affordable and clean-burning fuel alternative to traditional crude-oil-based fats,” the suit said.

Marshall allegedly used funds from his clients, some of whom are elderly, to finance personal expenses and provided investors with “fraudulent account statements” with purported investments and returns that didn’t exist, the complaint said.

The SEC said Marshall worked for at least eight registered broker-dealers or investment firms from 1989 to 2011 before starting his own companies.