Los Angeles Dodgers superstar two-way player Shohei Othani’s former interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, has been charged with stealing 16 million dollars from him to pay gambling debts. Ohtani and Mizuhara have been in the news recently after Mizuhara’s theft from his client and friend came to light. 

Prosecutors presented the allegations against 39-year-old Ippei Mizuhara at a press conference in Los Angeles. This turned Mizuhara’s life upside down, as he was subsequently fired from the Los Angeles Dodgers as Othani’s interpreter.

It is important to note that Othani’s contract had a very specific clause that said he could opt out of his deal at any point if the Dodgers fired Mizuhara. However, things have changed, and he does not want to deal with a man who is stealing an insane amount of money from him. 

Mizuhara was using a bookie from southern California and had reportedly texted him, “I’m terrible at this sports betting thing, huh? Lol… Any chance you can bump me again?? As you know, you don’t have to worry about me not paying!!” Mizuhara alludes to the fact that he has access to Shohei Othani’s finances.

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Ohtani reportedly never bet on the MLB, and his dealings were mainly on the NFL, NBA, and NCAA Football. This would be a different case if Mizuhara were betting on the MLB. 

Starting in 2021, Mizuhara gambled using an illegal sportsbook. After losing a substantial amount, he contacted Othani’s bank, pretending to be Othani, and changed information to link the account to Mizuhara’s phone number. From there, he was allegedly able to complete wire transfers.

Mizuhara and Othani began their partnership when Othani signed with the Los Angeles Angels as one of the most hyped-up prospects in MLB history, as he is both an elite left-handed hitter and a top-level starting pitcher at the same time.

In 2018, Mizuhara went with Ohtani to an Arizona bank office to open the account, providing translation services while Ohtani set it up. According to the prosecution, the statement stated that Ohtani never provided Mizuhara access to the account or any of his other financial accounts, even though his salary was transferred into it.

Ohtani signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, leaving the crosstown Angels behind to form one of the most stacked teams in MLB history. He is one of four MVPs on the Dodgers, joining Clayton Kershaw, Freddie Freeman, and Mookie Betts. Ohtani has two MVPs himself, including winning the 2023 American League MVP. Now part of the National League, Ohtani will have a chance to play playoff baseball, and anything short of a World Series feels as if it will be a failed season for the Dodgers.

Mizuhara is now in federal custody after surrendering to law enforcement on Friday. He will face court soon, and then we will provide more updates.