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News Release

Arkansas man sentenced to 12 years in prison for defrauding investors

FORT SMITH, ARKANSAS – A fraud investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, the FBI, and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General has led to a 12-year prison sentence for William Jackson Moates Jr., of Fort Smith, Arkansas.

The investigation found that over the course of nearly five years, Moates, 50, received investment funds from at least 25 different clients, which were not invested as Moates said they would be. Moates diverted clients’ investments to his personal use, to pay back other investors, and for the use of his various businesses for operating expenses. EBSA investigators found that Moates had embezzled $150,000 from an employee benefit plan sponsored by a pool company.

“Stealing from retirement plans deprives workers and employers of their hard-earned futures,” said Director of the EBSA Dallas Regional Office, Deborah Perry. “Through the combined efforts of this department, the FBI, and Department of Justice prosecutors, this defendant is being punished in accordance with the law and has been ordered to pay restitution.”

Moates used investor funds to renovate his home, take vacations, make credit card payments, make payments to personal iTunes and Amazon accounts, make contributions to local charitable organizations, and to make mortgage payments on his home. He would also use investor funds to make disbursements to other clients whose money he had embezzled.

On June 28, 2017, Moates was sentenced to 150 months in federal prison on one count each of mail fraud, theft of government funds, theft from an employee benefit plan, money laundering and two counts of wire fraud. Moates was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $5,710,816.62 to his victims.

This case was investigated by the EBSA’s Dallas Regional Office. Employers and workers can reach EBSA toll-free at 866-444-3272 for help with problems related to private sector retirement and health plans. Additional information can be found at

Employee Benefits Security Administration
July 12, 2017
Release Number
Media Contact: Michael Trupo
Phone Number