April 12, 2024 3 min read


Ex-translator of Shohei Ohtani Charged in $16M Bank Fraud Case

Ippei Mizuhara was hit with bank fraud charges after investigation uncovered he allegedly obtained more than $16 million without authorization from the popular baseball star

Shohei Ohtani, the professional baseball star with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who recently signed the staggering $700 million 10-year deal with the club, was tangled in a massive betting scandal. The case involved Ohtani’s interpreter and long-time friend, Ippei Mizuhara, who was accused of stealing money for illegal gambling from the baseball star’s bank account. Once word broke out about the gambling scandal earlier this year, Mizuhara was fired.

The latest development saw the former translator for Ohtani face charges filed by the US Attorney’s Office, accusing him of stealing some $16 million from the baseball star. News about the charges emerged on Thursday with the US Attorney for the Central District of California, Martin Estrada, confirming that Mizuhara abused his authority and access to Ohtani’s bank account.

A recently released affidavit confirms that Mizuhara started gambling with illegal sports betting operators back in September 2021. This is when the man started losing “substantial sums of money.” An investigation uncovered that around the same period, Ohtani’s access to his bank account was changed and linked to a phone number for Mizuhara, along with an e-mail address. Between November 2021 and January 2024, Mizuhara allegedly stole more than $16 million from a bank account belonging to Ohtani.

The Baseball Star Was the Victim

According to Estrada and the affidavit, Mizuhara acted as “Ohtani’s de facto manager,” although the baseball star did not officially grant Mizuhara control over his assets or bank accounts. Ohtani collaborated with law enforcement granting access to correspondence and other information.

An extensive review uncovered that the baseball star was the victim in this case as there was no evidence that suggested he was aware of any of the gambling activities by Mizuhara. Estrada also highlighted that Ohtani was the victim in the case, saying that collected evidence suggests that he wasn’t aware of the unauthorized transfers completed by Mizuhara.

I want to emphasize this point: Mr. Ohtani is considered a victim in this case. There is no evidence to indicate that Mr. Ohtani authorized the over $16 million of transfers from his account to the bookmakers.

Martin Estrada, US Attorney for the Central District of California

A statement released by the MLB acknowledged that the League is aware of the charges against Mizuhara filed by the US Attorney’s Office over bank fraud after a federal investigation. “According to that investigation, Shohei Ohtani is considered a victim of fraud and there is no evidence that he authorized betting with an illegal bookmaker,” wrote the MLB.

The League added that although Mizuhara is suspected of wagering millions there were no bets placed on baseball. Finally, the MLB said it would refrain from further comments until the resolution of the criminal investigation.

Currently, bank fraud is classified as a felony. Depending on the severity of the criminal case, individuals found guilty of bank fraud may be subject to imprisonment of up to 30 years maximum.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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