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Ohtani Translator Allegedly Steals $16 million From Dodgers Star

Ohtani Translator Allegedly Steals $16 million From Dodgers Star

Shohei Ohtani’s former translator Ippei Mizuhara has been accused of stealing more than $16 million from the Los Angeles Dodgers star to cover millions of dollars of gambling debts, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

The bets were not placed on baseball games, the office said while they filed a criminal complaint against Mizuhara. They also said that Ohtani had no knowledge of the transaction and was considered a victim in the case.

Mizuhara had been Ohtani’s translator for years. During that time, the attorney’s office discovered Mizuhara had full access to Ohtani’s bank accounts. Phone records indicate he accessed them online and lied to the bank, pretending to be Ohtani, the office said.

On March 20, 2024, Mizuhara admitted to a bookmaker in an encrypted text message that he had stolen the money from Ohtani, according to the complaint. “Technically I did steal from him. It’s all over for me,” he wrote.

“Due to the position of trust, he had unique access to his finances and he used and abused that place of trust to take advantage of Mr. Ohtani,” said U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada.

Attorneys for Ohtani, Mizuhara, and the Dodgers declined to comment on the charges.

While sports gambling is legal in 38 states and Washington, D.C., it is illegal in California, which has driven some bettors to illegal operations.

Mizuhara faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for the charges and is expected to make a court appearance in the next couple of days.

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