Shohei Ohtani’s Former Translator Allegedly Lost And Stole Much More Than First Reported

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Written By Giovanni Shorter | Last Updated
Ohtani's translator

Shohei Ohtani’s translator, Ippei Mizuhara, is facing federal charges, including bank fraud for alleged theft. The latest reports show that Ohtani’s now-fired interpreter allegedly wired $16 million from the MLB stars’ bank account illegally to cover sports betting losses. In total, Mizuhara is said to have wagered more than $180 million at the illegal sportsbook, placing approximately 19,000 wagers.

Federal investigators have concluded Ohtani was nothing more than a victim in this case, using text messages and forensic data to support such a conclusion. Front Office Sports first reported Thursday that the complaint details private conversations and staggering figures of Mizuhara’s gambling activity:

  • Total bets placed: more than 19,000
  • Bet frequency: averaged dozens of wagers per day over more than two years
  • Average Bet Size: more than $12,000
  • Total winning bets: more than $140 million
  • Total losing bets: more than $180 million
  • Net losses: more than $40.6 million
  • Amount stolen from Ohtani: more than $16 million

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Mizuhara’s Illegal Gambling Examined

Between Dec. 2021 and Jan. 2024, Mizuhara is found to have placed dozens of bets daily at an illegal sportsbook. The totality of his degeneracy led to more than $180 million in sports bets being placed over that time and more than $40 million in losses owed to the illegal bookmaker, according to federal authorities.

In the process, more than $16 million was stolen from Ohtani’s account, with the bank transactions hidden from the star player. Investigators say they have evidence to support that Mizuhara was able to change the settings on Ohtani’s bank accounts, which prevented the star player from being alerted by his bank of the transactions.

According to earlier reports, Mizuhara gambled illegally through Mathew Bowyer, a known Orange County bookie. Text messages show that Mizuhara would request credit and increased betting limits from Bowyer.

Shohei Ohtani’s Response To Scandal

Initially, Ohtani and his team stated they transferred the millions willingly to cover the debts of his longtime interpreter. Later, Ohtani’s legal team clarified that Mizuhara stole the money, a claim that the federal investigation has backed. As of now, Ohtani has faced no disciplinary action from federal authorities or Major League Baseball.

The MLB is still investigating the sports betting case, and Ohtani has already begun his season with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The MLB could punish Ohtani harshly if it is discovered that He played any part in the illegal gambling. Sports betting rules are strict on professional athletes getting involved with betting. To add to the issue, sports betting is not regulated in California; there are no legal sportsbooks in the state.

According to a New York Times report, Mizuhara is currently negotiating a plea deal with the feds, in which he is expected to plead guilty to the accusations of bank fraud.

What the eventual sentence will be for Ohtani’s translator is still unclear.