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Ohtani's ex-interpreter to plead guilty over $17 mil fraud

31 Comments
By Rob Woollard

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31 Comments
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Ohtani, too big to fail?

-19 ( +6 / -25 )

He gonna be deported back to Japan as a criminal aliens,he got pretty light,for all the money involved

-21 ( +4 / -25 )

@Yrral

He gonna be deported back to Japan as a criminal aliens,he got pretty light,for all the money involved

Maybe you know something I don't, but the article doesn't say anything about him being deported. He could face many years in a U.S. jail as well as huge fines and bans on future employment. The guilty plea is most likely an attempt to reduce these charges in exchange for cooperation in the prosecution of other individuals involved in illegal sports gambling and bank fraud. I don't think the prosecutors are going to go light on Mizuhara unless they get something back in exchange. They have him dead to rights, and he only confessed after his attempt to pull Ohtani down with him failed.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Some people see a conspiracy in everything... The US justice system has eaten a lot bigger fish than Ohtani.

Ohtani, too big to fail?

18 ( +21 / -3 )

Does Ohtani san get his money back?!!!

3 ( +7 / -4 )

He gonna be deported back to Japan as a criminal aliens,he got pretty light,for all the money involved

Mizuhara is American.

21 ( +21 / -0 )

Gambling addiction is a horrible disease. I’m glad Ippei has taken responsibility.

There is no question that Otani is a victim albeit a rather foolish one. He’s never had to manage financial affairs like a normal person and thus he was borderline vapid in money matters.

Its a costly lesson but one he will have to learn.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

When it comes to big money and assets, you need to hire accountants, auditors to watch the accountants, lawyers to watch who you deal with and to scrutinize deals, security firms and investigators to check on your possible partners.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Sad story about a seemingly nice man with a tragic problem. This man was viewed positively by the public, recently married and a trusted friend and companion of a superstar, yet he threw all of that away.

Quite sad, really.

-7 ( +8 / -15 )

Money is gone.

Crickey, I miss 100Yen if its lost

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Ohtani, too big to fail?

You don't think the police and prosecution would have investigated Ohtani, and the whole money trail? Of course they did.

Are you suggesting the police and US Justice Dept. are covering up for Ohtani because he is "too big to fail"? Pretty wild conspiracy theory there!

12 ( +16 / -4 )

Here is my question is how did Ohtani not notice 17 million dollars missing out of his bank account?

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

There is no question that Otani is a victim albeit a rather foolish one. He’s never had to manage financial affairs like a normal person and thus he was borderline vapid in money matters.

I don't think Ohtani was foolish to assume his financial team had all his bank accounts managed. That's what he's paying them to do.

I think his financial team was foolish not to directly confirm with Ohtani that he wanted that account private. They said they had no reason to doubt Ippei...but they should definitely in future, make sure there is an interpreter on both sides, especially when talking big money.

Everyone put way too much faith into Ippei.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Here is my question is how did Ohtani not notice 17 million dollars missing out of his bank account?

When you have that much money, it's not sitting in an account. It's in various investments, spread across various accounts, and someone with access to that can hide some pretty deep fraud for a while if it's not looked at too closely. It's happened to a lot of celebrities. Dane Cook's brother got him for $3 million. Sting go ripped off by his financial advisor for $10 million. Billy Joel got ripped off for $90 million by his ex brother in law.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Okay. I'm Shohei Ohtani. I get up, I work out, go to the field and practice for a few hours, and then I play a major league game of baseball. Then I have nothing left to do but to spend 12 hours looking at my accounts, calling brokers about investments, chatting with my multi-billionaire pal, and then I go to sleep. 10 minutes later, I get up, work out,. . .

Does that make sense to anybody? He hires people to do certain things, particularly here in the US where his English is faulty (but improving) and he has a reliable buddy to lean on. Hey, I'm Shohei Ohtani. I just hit two home runs and went 4 for 4. Now let's take a look at the books.

Scary stupid.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

The complaint revealed that between December 2021 and January 2024, Mizuhara placed approximately 19,000 bets ranging in value from $10 to $160,000 at an average of around $12,800 per bet.

That's around 25 bets per day ! Unfreakinbelievable.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

he should identify as a banker, say it was financial arbitrage, but unforeseen market conditions and interest rate fluctuations were to blame.

and wear a suit and tie.

at least he won’t go to jail. he could sign a plea deal that admits no wrongdoing and pay a $500 fine.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Gene Hennigh

Today 10:43 am JST

Okay. I'm Shohei Ohtani. I get up, I work out, go to the field and practice for a few hours, and then I play a major league game of baseball. Then I have nothing left to do but to spend 12 hours looking at my accounts, calling brokers about investments, chatting with my multi-billionaire pal, and then I go to sleep. 10 minutes later, I get up, work out,. . .

> Does that make sense to anybody? He hires people to do certain things, particularly here in the US where his English is faulty (but improving) and he has a reliable buddy to lean on. Hey, I'm Shohei Ohtani. I just hit two home runs and went 4 for 4. Now let's take a look at the books.

> Scary stupid.

Totally agree.

But why did you post it

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Ippei Mizuhara, 39, will plead guilty to one count of bank fraud

Only one?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Ohtani might be more sorry losing a friend

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

My Japanese friends/family are so embarrassed by this man, as he is representing Japan and is pretty dishonest, selfish and greedy. Not a great impression.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

What a doofus!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

ianToday  12:41 pm JST

Ippei Mizuhara, 39, will plead guilty to one count of bank fraud

Only one?

One count of bank fraud, and one count of submitting a false tax return.

The one count of bank fraud could mean up to 30 years in prison. No small thing.

It's up to three years for the bogus tax return.

I doubt Mizuhara will get 30 or 33 years, but he's still probably going to go to the slammer for a good while.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

tigerjane Today  09:55 am JST

Here is my question is how did Ohtani not notice 17 million dollars missing out of his bank account?

This is not even close to being the first time that a super-rich celebrity has had his/her money stolen by a trusted associate, friend, or family member.

It's happened to LOTS of them.

And that was with no language barrier being used against them.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Ippei Mizuhara, 39, will plead guilty to one count of bank fraud -- punishable by up to 30 years in prison -- and one count of filing a false tax return, which carries a maximum sentence of three years, the Justice Department said.

If anyone thinks that Ippei will get off easy is dead wrong. This guy dug a hole for himself on 3 different account he defrauded Ohtani, tarnish the MLB, and then cheated the IRS. In america we say owing the IRS is the worst thing i the world. If you owe them they will come after you and don't care if you are dead or alive. Look at the statement made by "United States Attorney Martin Estrada "The extent of this defendant's deception and theft is massive" that means he will finish his time in jail for a long time when you do federal time you do ever day in jail you are sentenced for. It is not a state crime, there is a difference if you commit a state crime for everyday you are sentenced you are credited for 2 days. Federal is 1:1. Tax evasion, wire fraud the deds don't take likely. Ippei appeared in court to try to apologize to "Ohtani, the Dodgers, and Major League Baseball" for his actions and sought a swift resolution so he can "take responsibility." This will not lessen his sentence the only way that is going to happen is he has more insight to the bigger betting operation. The feds want to get to the top the big fish not the small guy, they were already on to his bookie so that right there tells you they were fishing. Also he made get a civil law suit from the MLB for tarnishing the games image they are just sitting back waiting and this will probably happen after the season and not during the season to keep the negativity out of the game. As I said before everyone trusted Ippei even the team in Japan when he left the US no one vetted the guy he was a season con man who had a plan that worked for awhile but greed is always the down fall for those who don't know when to quit or not commit! I said all alone when this guy was Ohtani's mouth piece no one checked what he was saying on the back end. I am sure if he was in on contract negotiation of any kind of negotiations that two is being looked at because who knows what he could have agreed to with Ohtani just nodding his head in trust and believing in his deceptive "friend".

Mizuhara, will spend a lengthy time in a federal penitentiary the IRS which is totally separate from the federal government but acts on their behalf will see to that and the MLB will put the nail in the coffin. I see 25-30 years in the pen!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Here is my question arranged a different way is how his translator could get access to this money without anyone including Ohtani not knowing?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Here is my question arranged a different way is how his translator could get access to this money without anyone including Ohtani not knowing?

This was all detailed already by law enforcement. and even posters above.

Ohtani has multiple bank accounts. For the account in question Mizuhara helped set it up personally and then repeatedly lied and told everyone Ohtani wanted to keep it private, when in fact it was just a cover.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Okay, so Ohtani wanted this guy to help him set up an account and clearly it got set up and the bank would have needed Ohtani's signature. Why the need for an account to be set up by his translator? It does not add up even when you explain it.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

My coworker decided to bet ¥10,000 on an NBA basketball game. He lost it. He said, “Ah, it’s just ¥10,000.”

The time between his decision to bet and actually placing that bet was only about 15 seconds “thanks” to his smart phone app. I had no idea this was even possible. I just can’t believe how easy it’s become to gamble.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Okay, so Ohtani wanted this guy to help him set up an account and clearly it got set up and the bank would have needed Ohtani's signature. Why the need for an account to be set up by his translator? It does not add up even when you explain it.

It was 2018 when Ohtani first moved to MLB and likely didn't speak much English. Not sure why that is so hard to grasp.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Here is my question is how did Ohtani not notice 17 million dollars missing out of his bank account?

It's hard for us commonfolk to fathom because the uber rich live in a different world than us. However, this kind of thing occurs more often than we think. Robert De NIro, Kevin Durant, etc. have all been victims of fraud at one point in their lives and never noticed millions of dollars missing from their bank account until it was too late. The more money you have, the more controls you need to have in place. Ohtani may have been a bit too trusting and gullible, but that's why he is such a good player. He spent all his focus on training, nutrition and sleep in order to be the player he is. If he spent some of that time on watching his finances, he may not be as good as he is today.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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