Ippei Mizuhara Charged With Bank Fraud For Stealing More Than $16 Million From Shohei Ohtani

The Department of Justice announced Ippei Mizuhara has been charged with bank fraud after stealing more than $16 million from Shohei Ohtani. The announcement was made by United States Attorney Martin Estrada in a press conference following an investigation into the matter.

Bank fraud faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, but it will be up to the courts to determine if Mizuhara is guilty and the judge to sentence him based on the evidence provided.

Estrada added that Ohtani is entirely a victim in the case and cooperated fully with investigators. He is now fully clear of any wrongdoing on his part.

Ohtani was interviewed by federal law enforcement working on the case, and they expect him to continue assisting investigations. Ohtani said in his press conference on the matter he would provide assistance to law enforcement.

While Mizuhara stole money from Ohtani, the winnings he made ended up going to a personal account for Mizuhara.

Estrada also said Mizuhara impersonated Ohtani in conversations with the banks to allow large transactions to take place. Mizuhara also helped Ohtani set up his accounts, which is why he was able to access it.

Communications between Ohtani and Mizuhara were also reviewed by a Japanese linguist.

Mizuhara, who worked as Ohtani’s interpreter, was fired by the Dodgers after the allegations became public.

MLB has also been investigating the scandal, but with the federal findings clearing Ohtani, he is unlikely to face any discipline.

Ippei Mizuhara expected to plead guilty

Mizuhara is expected to file a guilty plea amid evidence he took measures to ensure Ohtani would not discover millions that were stolen.

The investigation is said to have included three federal agencies, including the Los Angeles offices of the Internal Revenue Service’s criminal division and the Department of Homeland Security, along with the U.S. attorney’s office for the Central District of California.

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