LOS ANGELES — Federal authorities charged the former longtime interpreter for Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani on Thursday with federal bank fraud, alleging that he stole more than $16 million from the Japanese sensation to cover gambling debts.

Ippei Mizuhara served as Ohtani’s interpreter after Ohtani came to the U.S. in 2018 to play baseball. U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada said Mizhuara “acted as Mr. Ohtani’s de facto manager.”

Mizuhara helped Ohtani set up a bank account for Ohtani’s baseball salary, and stole more than $16 million from Ohtani’s bank accounts to pay for his own sports betting and lied to the bank to access the account, Estrada said.

Mizuhara was able to “use and abuse” his position of trust with Ohtani “in order to plunder Mr. Ohtani’s bank account, he said.

Estrada also confirmed that when Mizuhara would win on sports bets, he did not deposit the money into Ohtani’s account.

“Mr. Mizuhara did all this to feed his insatiable appetite for illegal sports betting,” Estrada said, adding the complaint alleges he committed fraud “on a massive scale.”


Estrada said there is no evidence that Ohtani was aware of his interpreter’s actions, adding that Ohtani has cooperated fully and completely with investigators.

“I want to emphasize this point: Mr. Ohtani is considered a victim in this case,” he said.

Mizuhara is expected to appear in United States District Court in downtown Los Angeles for his initial appearance in the near future, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office press release.

The maximum penalty for the bank fraud charge Mizuhara faces is 30 years in prison.

Mizuhara was abruptly fired by the team after the scandal surfaced last month, catalyzed by an IRS Criminal Investigation of an alleged illegal bookmaker. Major League Baseball opened a separate investigation.



METS 16, BRAVES 4: DJ Stewart hit a two-run homer in a four-run third inning and pinch-hitter Tyrone Taylor hit a ninth-inning grand slam to cap the rout as New York won at Atlanta.

Jose Quintana (1-1) gave up three runs in 5 1/3 innings. Jeff McNeil drove in three runs with two hits in the best game of the season for the Mets’ bats. New York set season highs for runs and with 16 hits.

Stewart’s homer, which gave the Mets a 7-0 lead, was his second of the series. The designated hitter had no hits this season before hitting a two-run homer in the Mets’ 8-7 win in the series opener on Monday night.

ATHLETICS 1, RANGERS 0: JP Sears carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning and combined with three relievers on a one-hitter, Seth Brown homered to supply the game’s only run and visiting Oakland beat Texas.

Sears (1-1) allowed leadoff walks in the first, second and fifth innings before Adolis García ended the no-hit bid by lining a one-out single to left field in the seventh on an 0-2 sweeper. The 28-year-old left-hander was was then pulled after throwing 88 pitches. He struck out five, including 2023 World Series MVP Corey Seager three times.

ROYALS 13, ASTROS 3: Bobby Witt Jr. had four hits, including two home runs, and five RBI and Kansas City used a nine-run first inning to defeat visiting Houston to complete a three-game sweep and extend its winning streak to seven games.

Vinnie Pasquantino, who came into Wednesday’s game hitting .108 with no RBI, was 3 for 5 with three RBI and is hitting .222 with eight RBI.

The Royals completed a perfect seven-game homestand against the White Sox and Astros. It’s just the third time in franchise history they’ve played at least seven games on a homestand without a loss. The other two: seven games in 1988 and eight games in 1985, the year they won their first World Series.

PHILLIES 5, PIRATES 1: Ranger Suárez struck out eight over six shutout innings, Brandon Marsh and Bryson Stott hit two-run homers and Alec Bohm also went deep to lead Philadelphia past visiting Pittsburgh.

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