Written by Ashton Snyder on
 May 10, 2024

Shohei Ohtani’s Ex-Interpreter Admits Guilt in Fraud and Tax Evasion Case

Ippei Mizuhara, once a trusted associate of baseball star Shohei Ohtani, has confessed to a grave betrayal involving millions of dollars.

As reported by Breitbart News, Mizuhara's confession to bank and tax fraud crimes has potentially devastating consequences, with a maximum prison sentence of 33 years.

In 2018, the saga began in Arizona when Mizuhara helped Ohtani, who was not proficient in English, establish a bank account. This act marked the start of Mizuhara's fraudulent activities.

By September 2021, Mizuhara found himself deeply involved in sports gambling through an illegal bookmaker, accruing significant debts. To cover these debts, he exploited the bank account he initially set up for Ohtani, using the athlete's login details without permission.

Mizuhara's Impersonation and Unauthorized Transfers

Mizuhara manipulated the bank’s security settings to reroute follow-up contacts to himself, effectively cutting Ohtani out of the communication loop. He went further by impersonating Ohtani in two dozen phone calls with the bank, an act that facilitated his fraudulent transactions.

Between November 2021 and March 2024, Mizuhara executed 40 wire transfers, channeling nearly $17 million to his bookmaker's associates without Ohtani's knowledge or consent.

The Tax Evasion and Ohtani’s Reaction

In addition to his bank fraud, in 2022, Mizuhara failed to declare $4.1 million as income, exacerbating his legal troubles with tax evasion charges.

The revelation of these crimes has publicly shattered the trust between Mizuhara and Ohtani. On March 25, Ohtani expressed his profound sadness and shock over the betrayal by someone he once considered a close confidant.

U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada commented on the case, emphasizing the severity of Mizuhara's actions and the betrayal of trust involved.

Legal Proceedings and Public Response

“The extent of this defendant’s deception and theft is massive. He took advantage of his position of trust to take advantage of Mr. Ohtani and fuel a dangerous gambling habit," Estrada stated. "My office is committed to vindicating victims throughout our community and ensuring wrongdoers face justice.”

After reflecting on the personal and financial betrayal, Ohtani remarked, “I am very saddened and shocked that someone I trusted has done this.”

Mizuhara's formal arraignment is scheduled for May 14, at which point the legal outcomes of his guilty plea will begin to unfold.


Ippei Mizuhara, the former interpreter and friend of Shohei Ohtani, confessed to embezzling millions to cover gambling debts, pleading guilty to bank fraud, and filing a false tax return. This scandal has highlighted severe breaches of trust and the personal and legal battles that ensue when professional boundaries are crossed. Mizuhara's upcoming arraignment on May 14 will further determine the consequences of his actions.

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About Ashton Snyder

Independent conservative news without a leftist agenda.
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