Major League Baseball
Shohei Ohtani's ex-interpreter ordered to get gambling addiction treatment
Major League Baseball

Shohei Ohtani's ex-interpreter ordered to get gambling addiction treatment

Published Apr. 12, 2024 5:42 p.m. ET

A federal judge on Friday ordered the former longtime interpreter for Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani to get gambling addiction treatment.

Ippei Mizuhara exploited his personal and professional relationship with Ohtani to plunder the two-way player's bank account for years, prosecutors said, at times impersonating Ohtani to bankers, so he could pilfer huge sums of money to cover his bets and debts.

Mizuhara turned himself in on Friday ahead of his initial court appearance. He is charged with one count of bank fraud and faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors said there was no evidence that Ohtani was involved in or aware of Mizuhara's gambling, and authorities said Ohtani is cooperating with investigators.


Mizuhara was not asked to enter a plea during Friday's brief court appearance in downtown Los Angeles. A criminal complaint, filed Thursday, detailed the alleged scheme through evidence that included text messages, financial records and recordings of phone calls.

While Mizuhara's winning bets totaled over $142 million, which he deposited in his own bank account and not Ohtani's, his losing bets were around $183 million — a net loss of nearly $41 million.

In a message to his illegal bookmaker on March 20, the day the Los Angeles Times and ESPN broke the news of the federal investigation, Mizuhara wrote: "Technically I did steal from him. it's all over for me."

Major League Baseball opened its own investigation after the controversy surfaced, and the Dodgers immediately fired Mizuhara.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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