Ohtani's Former Interpreter to Plead Guilty

This week Ippei Mizuhara, the former interpreter for MLB baseball star Shohei Ohtani agreed to plea deal related to his involvement in stealing from the player in order to illegally place sports bets with a bookie.

Mizuhara will plead guilty to federal charges of bank fraud and filing a false tax return in the US District Court for the Central District of California on May 14th when he is arraigned. He faces up to 33 years in prison, but prosecutors will push for a lighter sentence. Additionally, Mizuhara will also face a fine of up to $1.25 million. He stands accused of stealing nearly $17 million from Ohtani, which he used to place illegal sports bets with a bookie between September 2021 and March 2024. He reportedly placed more than 19,000 bets over the course of 30 months, losing $40.7 million.

The defendant became Ohtani's interpreter when he came to America to play for the Los Angeles Angels in 2018. From there he took on additional roles in helping the All-Star player adjust to life in the United States. He opened a bank account with Ohtani and then changed the information to his own.

A statement by IRS Special Agent Tyler Hatcher read in part: "Our joint investigation with Homeland Security Investigations clearly showed Mr. Mizuhara not only stole from Mr. Ohtani, but also that he lied to the IRS about his income. Mr. Mizuhara exploited his relationship with Mr. Ohtani to bankroll his own irresponsibility."

Casino Listings News will be updating readers as we learn about the sentence that Mizuhara receives.

About the author

Kingston Li // Asia Correspondent
Kingston Li
Kingston is a big fan of Baccarat and Texas Hold'em Poker and has tested his skills in tournaments around Asia and the world. He covers the latest gambling news from Asia for Casino Listings. In his spare time, Kingston enjoys hiking, video gaming, and playing disc golf.

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