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Ippei Mizuhara, Shohei Ohtani’s Ex-Interpreter, Pleads Guilty To Fraud After Stealing Almost $17M From Him, Faces Up To 33 Years In Prison

Mizuhara Ippei leaves federal court following his arraignment in Los Angeles, California, on May 14, 2024. Mizuhara, a former interpreter for Shohei Ohtani, agreed to plead guilty to illegally transferring approximately $17 million from the baseball star’s bank account to repay gambling debts. (Photo by Frederick J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

James Myers of OAN
Tuesday, June 4, 2024 3:09 PM

Mizuhara Ippei, a former interpreter for Los Angeles Dodgers superstar Ohtani Shohei, pleaded guilty Tuesday to bank fraud and tax evasion, admitting to stealing about $17 million from the Japanese phenom to pay off sports betting debts.


He pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court in Santa Ana, California.

Ohtani’s former interpreter exploited his personal and professional relationship with the baseball player to steal large sums of money from the two-way player’s accounts over the years, sometimes pretending to be Ohtani to bank employees.

May 5NumberMizuhara signed a plea agreement detailing the charges, which prosecutors announced a few days later.

Mizuhara’s gambling winnings totaled more than $142 million, which he deposited into his own bank account rather than Ohtani’s.

However, the amount of bets lost was approximately $183 million, resulting in a net loss of approximately $41 million. An investigation concluded that Mizuhara had not bet on baseball.

Otani’s former interpreter pleaded guilty to bank fraud and filing false tax returns.

The bank fraud charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison, and the false tax return charge carries a maximum sentence of three years in federal prison.

The sentencing hearing is scheduled for October 25th.Number.

Mizuhara was also ordered to pay back gambling debts to Ohtani estimated to total about $17 million, as well as more than $1 million to the National Tax Agency, though the amounts could change before the ruling is reached.

Mizuhara’s plea deal was negotiated with prosecutors before he was arraigned in federal court in Los Angeles in May.

Authorities said there was no evidence that Otani was involved in or knew about Mizuhara’s gambling, and that Otani cooperated fully with the investigation.

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