Former Interpreter of Shohei Ohtani Charged with Bank Fraud in $16 Million Theft

Former interpreter of Los Angeles Dodgers superstar Shohei Ohtani, Ippei Mizuhara, has been charged with bank fraud after allegedly stealing $16 million from his former employer. U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada announced the federal charge on Thursday.

According to the federal complaint, Mizuhara placed approximately 19,000 wagers between December 2021 and January 2024. While he won around $142 million on these wagers, he also lost around $182 million, resulting in a net loss of approximately $40 million. Notably, the records do not indicate any bets placed on baseball games.

Estrada emphasized that Ohtani is considered a victim in this case. Mizuhara, who had unique access to Ohtani’s finances as his longtime interpreter and confidant, allegedly took advantage of this position to commit the theft.

The incident surrounding Mizuhara’s actions came to light when an ESPN report revealed a $4.5 million wire transfer from Ohtani’s bank account to an illegal bookmaking operation. Initially, Ohtani’s camp claimed that he authorized the transfer to help Mizuhara clear his debt. However, they later changed their story, accusing Mizuhara of “massive theft.” Ohtani, in a statement, expressed shock and sadness over the allegations, vehemently denying any involvement in gambling himself.

The New York Times reported that Mizuhara is currently negotiating a guilty plea, and a federal investigation into the theft is rapidly nearing a conclusion.

Author: CrimeDoor

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