Ippei Mizuhara - Shohei Ohtani

  • Shohei Ohtani’s former interpreter Ippei Mizuhara stole $16 million from the MLB superstar.
  • Mizuhara placed 19,000 illegal wagers from Dec. 2021 to Jan. 2024, suffering $40 million in total losses.
  • The US Department of Justice found no evidence of Mizuhara betting on baseball and officially cleared Ohtani’s name with no signs of involvement or knowledge of the fraud.

LOS ANGELES – The federal government charged Ippei Mizuhara, Shohei Ohtani’s former interpreter, with federal bank fraud on Thursday. The charges allege that Mizuhara stole over $16 million from Ohtani’s bank account, which he accessed by manipulating the Japanese-English language barrier.

Mizuhara stole the money from Ohtani to cover his legal sports betting debts, even going the lengths of impersonating Ohtani to withdraw money from his account. Thursday’s announcement cleared Ohtani’s name and ended a months worth of speculation, but also included details of Mizuhara’s crippling gambling addiction.

Former-Interpreter Suffered More Than $40 Million In Total Losses

Mizuhara placed roughly 19,000 bets between Dec. 2021 and Jan. 2024, according to the US Department of Justice. That ends up being nearly 25 California sports betting wagers every day across that span.

Mizuhara won more than $142 million from those bets, which he made from his own bank account, but lost a total of $182 million. He suffered a net loss of $40 million, which led Mizuhara to steal from Ohtani to cover his debts.

Federal authorities found no evidence of MLB betting from Mizuhara. A US Attorney spokesman confirmed that Mizuhara will surrender to federal authorities on Friday, declining to enter a plea.

At the beginning of this Ohtani betting scandal, there was discussion over what penalty the MLB star would receive if found guilty. Now it’s directed towards Mizuhara, who faces a 30-year maximum sentence in prison for bank fraud.

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