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Ex-MLB Interpreter Ippei Mizuhara to Plead Guilty to Bank Fraud

For Ippei Mizuhara, who is accused of stealing millions of dollars from Shohei Ohtani to pay gambling debts, an arraignment is set for May 14 in Los Angeles.



Ippei Mizuhara
Ippei Mizuhara, the former interpreter for Los Angeles Dodgers designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, appears at an introductory press conference at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on December 14, 2023. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY SPORTS)

Read the full story on SportsLook - Ex-MLB Interpreter Ippei Mizuhara to Plead Guilty to Bank Fraud

Ippei Mizuhara, the longtime former interpreter for MLB superstar Shohei Ohtani, will plead guilty to two federal charges, including bank fraud, linked to his millions of dollars in gambling debts, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Wednesday, May 8.

Mizuhara, 39, is set to hammer out a plea deal and also appear at an arraignment on May 14 at the federal court in Los Angeles, according to published reports.

US Attorney Martin Estrada issued a statement capsulizing the case against Mizuhara, who is accused of stealing $17 million USD (¥2.6 billion JPY) from Ohtani, accessing his bank account to make wire transfers to pay gambling debts to an illegal bookie from November 2021 to March 2024.

"The extent of this defendant's deception and theft is massive," Estrada said in the statement. "He took advantage of his position of trust to take advantage of Mr Ohtani and fuel a dangerous gambling habit. My office is committed to vindicating victims throughout our community and ensuring that wrongdoers face justice."

Ippei Mizuhara Seeks a Reduced Sentence

By agreeing to a plea deal, Mizuhara's criminal case would not go to trial. A reduced prison sentence would be the rationale behind it.

Mizuhara faces 30 years in prison for one count of bank fraud. He also faces three years in prison on one count of falsifying his tax return in 2022. It was widely reported he failed to declare more than $4.1 million (more than ¥639 million) in income for 2022 when his tax return showed $136,865 (¥21.3 billion) in taxable income.

The website for ABC News, one of the major US television networks' news division, reported on the imminent plea deal, detailing the scope and frequency of Mizuhara's alleged fraudulent activities. On Wednesday, May 8, it stated that Mizuhara made more than 40 wire transfers without Ohtani's authorization.

Continue reading the full story on SportsLook.


Author: Ed Odeven


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