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#pounditTuesday, July 23, 2024

Ippei Mizuhara allegedly stole incredible amount of money from Shohei Ohtani

Shohei Ohtani next to Ippei Mizuhara

Dec 14, 2023; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers player Shohei Ohtani stands with his agent Nez Balelo (left) and interpreter Ippei Mizuhara at an introductory press conference at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Shohei Ohtani’s former interpreter and confidant Ippei Mizuhara is now alleged to have stolen an eye-watering sum of money from the Los Angeles Dodgers star in order to pay off gambling debts.

Federal authorities alleged in a Los Angeles court on Thursday that Mizuhara transferred over $16 million from Ohtani’s account to an illegal sportsbook. Mizuhara has been charged with bank fraud.

U.S. attorney Martin Estrada also alleged that Mizuhara lied to banks about being Ohtani in order to access the account.

Mizuhara had initially been accused of embezzling at least $4.5 million from Ohtani to cover his gambling debts. Reports emerged on Wednesday, however, suggesting the sum may have been higher than that. Still, few would have expected the number to be roughly four times that which had previously been known.

As for Ohtani, the Dodgers star has been fully exonerated by federal authorities and is considered a victim in the case. The alleged facts largely align with Ohtani’s public statement on the story

Though an MLB investigation is ongoing, it seems highly unlikely there will be any reason to punish Ohtani.

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