Ohtani translator charted with stealing over $16 mn from Dodgers star

LOS ANGELES   -   The former Japa­nese-language translator for Shohei Ohtani was charged with bank fraud on Thursday for alleged­ly stealing more than $16 million from the Los An­geles Dodgers superstar to pay off gambling debts. Ippei Mizuhara, 39, made a series of unauthorized transfers from Ohtani’s checking account be­tween November 2021 and January 2024, the Justice Department said. US federal prosecutor Martin Estrada told a press conference there was no evidence to sug­gest Ohtani was aware of or involved in Mizuhara’s illegal gambling activ­ity. “I want to emphasise this point: Mr. Ohtani is considered a victim in this case,” Estrada said. Ohtani, the biggest star in baseball, joined the Dodgers last December in a record-breaking $700 million deal. The 29-year-old Ohtani told reporters last month that he has never bet on baseball and had not known previously about Mizuhara’s gambling problems.

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