Sign In  |  Register  |  About Burlingame  |  Contact Us

Burlingame, CA
September 01, 2020 10:18am
7-Day Forecast | Traffic
  • Search Hotels in Burlingame

  • ROOMS:

Shohei Ohtani's ex-interpreter facing 30 years in jail after allegedly stealing over $16 million from MLB star

Shohei Ohtani's former interpreter has been charged with bank fraud and is facing 30 years in prison for allegedly stealing over $16 million from the MLB star to pay off gambling debts.

Ippei Mizuhara, the former interpreter for Shohei Ohtani, has been charged with bank fraud for allegedly stealing more than $16 million from the MLB star to pay an illegal bookie.

Ohtani claimed from the get-go he had no knowledge of Mizuhara's alleged gambling addiction or that his money was being stolen, and the Department of Justice has confirmed that.

The DOJ says it has determined there was no evidence to suggest Ohtani was aware of, or involved in, Mizuhara’s illegal gambling activity or payment of those debts.


The DOJ says Mizuhara "wired more than $16 million in unauthorized transfers from a checking account [belonging] to" Ohtani, but the devices and IP addresses in which the transfers came from were "associated" with Mizuhara.

Mizuhara lost "substantial sums of money" for several months beginning in September 2021, which led him to link the account to his phone number and another email address, according to the DOJ. 

Throughout that time, Mizuhara allegedly acted as Ohtani in phone calls with the bank to initiate the transfers. Ohtani denied authorizing the wire transfers in an interview with authorities last week.

From January to March of this year, Mizuhara also used the account to purchase "approximately 1,000 baseball cards — at a cost of approximately $325,000 — and had them mailed to Mizuhara under an alias, ‘Jay Min,’ and mailed to" the Los Angeles Dodgers' clubhouse.

Amid differing stories Mizuhara told, there has been speculation it was actually Ohtani gambling and that Mizuhara was taking the hit. But Ohtani said he has "never bet on baseball or any other sports or never have asked somebody to do that on my behalf."


Ohtani said he didn't find out about Mizuhara's debt and what he was doing with his accounts "up until a couple days ago" while the team was in South Korea for the recent Seoul Series against the San Diego Padres last month.

"Up until that team meeting, I didn’t know that Ippei had a gambling addiction and was in debt. At that point, I never agreed to pay off the debt or make payments to the bookmaker."

The Dodgers fired Mizuhara, who had been Ohtani's personal translator since he joined the majors in 2018. Mizuhara even caught Ohtani's bullpen sessions and often played catch with him in the outfield.

Ohtani signed a $700 million contract with the Dodgers in the offseason, the largest in North American sports history. Ohtani has deferred $68 million annually until after the deal is complete. It's also reported that he is, by far, the sport's largest earner in sponsorships.

Follow Fox News Digital’s sports coverage on X, and subscribe to the Fox News Sports Huddle newsletter.

Data & News supplied by
Stock quotes supplied by Barchart
Quotes delayed at least 20 minutes.
By accessing this page, you agree to the following
Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.
Copyright © 2010-2020 & California Media Partners, LLC. All rights reserved.