Shohei Ohtani Gambling Scandal: TV Series In Motion On Dodgers Superstar, Ex-Interpreter Mizuhara

Written By Eli Hershkovich | Last Updated
Ohtani Gambling Scandal

Shohei Ohtani’s Hollywood spotlight is already exceeding expectations. On Thursday, Lionsgate Television announced it is developing a scripted series based on the Ohtani gambling scandal, involving the Los Angeles Dodgers star and his former interpreter.

The premise revolves around Ohtani’s record-setting 10-year, $700 million contract with the Dodgers. Months later, Ippei Mizuhara, Ohtani’s then-interpreter, allegedly stole $17 million from the two-time AL MVP to pay off his gambling debts.

Tony Award winner and producer Scott Delman, who has worked behind the scenes on Broadway shows including Mean Girls and The Book of Mormon while serving as executive producer on Station Eleven, will produce the series. Former Sports Illustrated reporter Albert Chen, author of the sports gambling book Billion Dollar Fantasy, is also part of the production team for the unnamed show.

“With a strong track record of creating daring, boundary-pushing series, Lionsgate Television is the perfect partner to bring this unbelievable story to the screen,” Delman said in a release. “Albert’s extensive sports journalism background will enable us to connect the dots to make sense of the startling turn of events we’ve seen play out on the world stage.”

Ohtani Gambling Scandal Background

The government announced Wednesday that Mizuhara agreed to one count of bank fraud and another of subscribing to a false tax return.

Mizuhara, who will be prosecuted on May 14, confessed to stealing roughly $17 million from Ohtani’s bank account “without the player’s knowledge or permission,” according to the Justice Department’s release. That included impersonations of Ohtani approximately 24 times at a bank. He also stole $325,000 to purchase baseball cards from eBay for future resale.

Between these charges, Mizuhara is expected to serve a maximum of 33 years in prison.

On March 20, the Dodgers’ organization fired Mizuhara, who had worked with Ohtani since 2013, with reports beginning to surface.

MLB betting Odds