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Baseball Betrayal: Shohei Ohtani’s Translator Steals Millions

Daniel Kim Views  

Major League Baseball (MLB) superstar (Los Angeles Dodgers) Shohei Ohtani’s former interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, has admitted to allegations that he illegally tapped into Ohtani’s funds to pay off gambling debts.

According to AFP News on the 8th local time, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that Mizuhara agreed to plead guilty to illegally transferring approximately $17 million from Ohtani’s bank account to cover his gambling debts.

Mizuhara agreed to plead guilty to one count of bank fraud and one count of false income reporting. The maximum sentence for bank fraud is 30 years in prison, while false income reporting carries a maximum sentence of 3 years.

The Department of Justice anticipates that Mizuhara will admit his guilt for these two charges in court on the 14th. According to the U.S. Federal Prosecutor’s Office in California, from November 2021 to March this year, Mizuhara accessed Ohtani’s account using his password, then changed the registered email address and phone number in the bank so that when the bank approved account transfers, they would call him instead of Ohtani. Mizuhara impersonated Ohtani in 24 conversations with bank staff using Ohtani’s personal information, and through this method, he embezzled $16,975,010 from Ohtani’s account. He also failed to report his total income when declaring his 2022 income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), omitting an additional $4.1 million. As a result, he admitted he is obligated to pay an extra $1,149,400 in taxes, related interest, and penalties. Previously, the prosecutor concluded that Ohtani was a victim of this case, with no evidence that he was aware of or involved in Mizuhara’s illegal gambling and debt repayment, based on Shohei Ohtani’s statement and cell phone records. Federal Prosecutor Martin Estrada said, “The scale of Mizuhara’s deception and theft is enormous,” adding, “He exploited his position of trust with Ohtani to continue his dangerous gambling habit.”

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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