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Apr 12, 2024 2:22 pm

Former interpreter Ippei Mizuhara surrenders to feds

mizuhara

Former interpreter Ippei Mizuhara surrendered to federal authorities in Los Angeles on Friday to face a charge of bank fraud for allegedly stealing more than $16 million from Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani.

Mizuhara, 39, is scheduled to appear in court at 1 p.m. PT, after which he is expected to be released on bond, according to multiple reports.

Prosecutors filed an affidavit Thursday alleging that Mizuhara siphoned funds from Ohtani’s bank accounts to cover his gambling debts with an illegal sportsbook.

The federal bank fraud charge is a felony offense that carries a maximum penalty of up to 30 years in prison and/or a $1 million fine.

The Dodgers fired Mizuhara last month after the allegations surfaced. He had been working with Ohtani since the Japanese two-way star debuted with the Los Angeles Angels in 2017.

From December 2021 through January 2024, authorities allege Mizuhara placed about 19,000 bets with an average wager of $12,800 and total net losses of nearly $40.7 million.

Records seized during the investigation showed no betting on baseball games, however, and authorities said Ohtani was not aware of the alleged theft.

The New York Times reported earlier this week that Mizuhara’s attorney is negotiating a plea deal with prosecutors.

Ohtani, 29, signed a record-setting 10-year, $700 million with the Dodgers in December after batting .304 with an American League-leading 44 homers and 95 RBIs in 2023, when he earned his second unanimous AL MVP.

–Field Level Media

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