Sunday, May 12, 2024

The Le'Nalors News of The Week - Shohei Ohtani’s Interpreter Facing 33 Years In Prison Over Stealing $17 Million

An illustration of Shohei Ohtani holding up his glove and wearing a Dodgers uniform.
Ippei Mizuhara, the former interpreter and close friend of Shohei Ohtani, will enter a guilty plea to many federal charges after acknowledging that he stole around $17 million from the Dodgers star. As a result, he may spend more than three decades behind bars. Mizuhara agreed to plead guilty to one count of bank fraud and one count of filing a false tax return. The crime spanned multiple years. Additionally, the US Justice Department revealed on Wednesday that he would soon be sentenced.

United States Attorney Martin Estrada said of Ippei's actions, "The extent of this defendant's deception and theft is massive." He continued, "He took advantage of his position of trust to take advantage of Mr. Ohtani and fuel a dangerous gambling habit. My office is committed to vindicating victims throughout our community and ensuring that wrongdoers face justice." There is a maximum sentence of 30 years for the bank fraud accusation and three years for the tax allegation. Furthermore, there will most likely be a significant reduction in sentence length.

Asserting that Mizuhara "exploited his relationship" with Shohei Ohtani, the government will concede that Mizuhara transferred about $17 million of Ohtani's money covertly to settle gambling debts. According to reports, Mizuhara paid Ryan Boyajian, a cast member of Real Housewives of Orange County, who was an alleged collaborator with Matthew Bowyer, the accused illegal bookmaker. Reports say Boyajian and Bowyer would "clean" the illegal money at casinos in Las Vegas.

Ohtani, who is non-English speaking, depended on Mizuhara for almost everything when he first came to the United States from Japan. Mizuhara created the slugger's bank account in 2018. The DOJ claims that Ippei started placing bets on athletic events in September 2021 and soon incurred a massive debt from a bookie but kept making bets. He then planned to siphon money from Shohei Ohtani's finances to settle debts and keep betting. In conclusion, Ippei Mizuhara will be arranged on May 14th. 


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