Feds Accuse Shohei Ohtani’s Ex-Interpreter of “Massive Scale” $16m Fraud

  • Feds accuse Mizuhara of unauthorized transfers of $16m from Ohtani’s bank account
  • Estrada said Mizuhara used Ohtani “to feed his insatiable appetite for illegal sports betting”
  • Despite theories of Yakuza coercion, the feds’ investigations have found Ohtani guilt free
Superior Court in California
Feds have charged Shohei Ohtani’s ex-interpreter with “fraud on a massive scale.” [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Feds call major fraud

The latest legal roadshow in the Shohei Ohtani betting scandal has seen the feds accuse his former interpreter of committing:

Fraud on a massive scale.”

On Thursday, the US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California (USAO-Los Angeles) charged Ippei Mizuhara with bank fraud. The USAO-Los Angeles took to X to share news of the case that has commanded the attention of sports fans worldwide:

As the case unravels and subplot theories abound, US Attorney for USAO-Los Angeles Martin Estrada accused Mizuhara of making unauthorized transfers to the tune of $16m from Ohtani’s bank account.

The prosecutor also accused Mizuhara of setting up Ohtani with a bank account for the Los Angeles Dodgers star’s baseball salary and duplicitously using the account to bankroll his sports betting.

Big appetite for betting

Estrada alleges Mizuhara manipulated his relationship with longtime friend Ohtani “to feed his insatiable appetite for illegal sports betting.”

The federal prosecutor elaborated that because of the close friendship Ohtani had with his ex-interpreter, Mizuhara could “use and abuse” the two-way superstar’s trust and fiddle his bank account.

Estrada added that when Mizuhara’s sports bets were a success, he didn’t deposit any of the winnings back into Ohtani’s account.

zero proof the baseball prodigy was aware of Mizuhara’s actions

In Ohtani’s defense, the prosecutor said there was zero proof the baseball prodigy was aware of Mizuhara’s actions, and that he has cooperated “fully and completely with investigators,” reports The Guardian.  

Estrada said the DOJ regards Ohtani as “a victim in this case.”

So far, so good

Despite theories like those of Joe Rogan’s—who dangled an Ohtani-Yakuza angle, suggesting the baseballer’s family in Japan might be under the crime syndicate’s coercion—the feds have found Ohtani guilt free.

According to a DOJ news release, Ohtani denied agreeing to Mizuhara’s bank transfers. Furthermore, the feds have examined Ohtani’s cellphone and determined “no evidence to suggest that Ohtani was aware of, or involved in, Mizuhara’s illegal gambling activity or payment of those debts.”

Despite nearly 40 US states having legal sports betting markets, Mizuhara has been betting from California where the vertical is still illegal.

USAO-Los Angeles spokesman Thom Mrozek stated Mizuhara has agreed to surrender to the feds Friday and will stand before a US District Court in downtown Los Angeles in that same afternoon. If convicted, the ex-interpreter faces a maximum 30 years in a federal prison.

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