Shohei Ohtani’s Interpreter to Plead Guilty: Embezzlement Scandal Rocks Superstar’s Team


Ippei Mizuhara was the Los Angeles Dodgers superstar Shohei Ohtani’s translator until he fired him in March 2024 for allegedly embezzling money to cover Ohtani’s gambling debts, pleaded to a charge of fraud against the bank on May 8, 2024, and a second count of filing false tax forms.

Mizuhara will be arraigned by the court on May 14th.

Martin Estrada, United States Attorney, stated that the defendant had committed massive fraud and theft. He also said he used his position to abuse Mr. Ohtani and feed his dangerous gambling addiction. “My office is committed to ensuring that justice is served for victims within our community.

“Our joint investigations with Homeland Security Investigations revealed that Mr. Mizuhara not only stole from Mr. Ohtani but also lied about his income to the IRS,” said Special Agent in Charge Tyler Hatcher, IRS Criminal Investigations Los Angeles Field Office. This is one such case.

The bookmaker was not named, but elsewhere he is reported as Mathew Bowyer from Orange County (CA). The bookmaker is not named but elsewhere, he’s reported as Mathew Bowyer from Orange County, CA ). Mizuhara racked up huge debts. To cover them, he changed the information on the bank account he opened with Ohtani to send any inquiries about the account directly to him, instead of Ohtani.

Mizuhara impersonated Ohtani when the bank that held the account tried to contact Ohtani regarding different actions.

Bank A denied a wire transfer attempt around February 2, 2022. To complete it, the defendant called Bank A and claimed to be victim A (Ohtani). He also falsely stated that he was a bookmaker’s associate and wanted to pay a loan to an associate.

Mizuhara charged Ohtani for $60K of dental work after Ohtani had given him a check in that amount. Mizuhara bought baseball cards on eBay from Ohtani and other sellers. He used money from Ohtani’s account to purchase baseball cards and resell them later.

It’s hard to believe that such a large amount of evidence could be used to plot against Ohtani. However, this story highlights a disturbing fact about modern sports: the growing relationship between sports and gambling.

A great example is the article was published on April 17, 2024, by the NBA about Jontay Port being banned from the league due to gambling-related offenses.

The gambling industry will continue to make money as long as it is profitable.