Charges of fraud are pending against the former interpreter for Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani, who is accused of stealing $16 Million

It has been alleged that a former teammate of Shohei Ohtani stole millions from him.

Ippei Mizuhara, a former interpreter for Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher, was charged federally on April 11 with bank fraud after it was alleged that he stole $16 million from the athlete.

Mizuhara, who had been teaching Ohtani, 29, English since 2013, was given access to his client’s money when he moved to the United States from his native Japan in 2018.

According to US Attorney Martin Estrada, Mizuhara made illicit withdrawals from Ohtani’s bank account between November 2021 and January 2024.

Mizuhara frequently traveled with his close friend Ohtani, “largely to finance his voracious appetite for illegal sports betting,” according to Estrada, because of the Japanese star’s poor command of English.

The prosecutor declared, “Mr. Ohtani is considered a victim in this case.”

shohei ohtani
‘Fraud on a massive scale’

The US attorney’s office stated, “Ohtani gave his cellphone to law enforcement, who found no evidence to suggest that Ohtani was aware of, or involved in, Mizuhara’s illegal gambling activity or payment of those debts.”

The lawyer for Mizuhara has been contacted by CNN for a response.

According to a news release from the US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, Mizuhara has consented to turn himself into federal authorities on Friday.

Prosecutor: Mizuhara impersonated Ohtani

Shortly after Ohtani moved from Japan to the United States, Mizuhara helped the baseball phenom create a bank account in 2018, Estrada said Thursday.

However, according to the prosecutor, Mizuhara declined to grant access to Ohtani’s other advisors, such as his financial advisor, accountant, and agent.

Mizuhara accessed Ohtani’s account online, according to phone and bank records. Additionally, the prosecutor claimed that Mizuhara began placing sports wagers with a group of bookmakers connected to an illicit gambling enterprise in 2021.

shohei ohtani
shohei ohtani

Any winnings were not placed in Ohtani’s account, but rather in Mizuhara’s account. Mizuhara even tried to get a bank to authorize big wire transfers to bookmakers by pretending to be Ohtani.

Phone recordings of Mizuhara posing as Ohtani, lying to bank employees, and giving them personal biographical information to get permission to transfer the money were discovered by authorities.

What comes next? In the upcoming days, Mizuhara is expected to appear in federal court to respond to a bank fraud. Mizuhara was fired last month after the alleged theft was discovered.

Mizuhara might spend up to 30 years in prison if found guilty.

Read Also – Nathan Templeton, From Olympic Glory to Heartbreaking Goodbye

About the Author

Leave a Comment