Ippei Mizuhara’s alleged theft of Shohei Ohtani is even worse than we thought

The news surrounding Ippei Mizuhara and his alleged theft of Los Angeles Dodgers superstar Shohei Ohtani continues to worsen.
Los Angeles Dodgers Introduce Shohei Ohtani
Los Angeles Dodgers Introduce Shohei Ohtani / Meg Oliphant/GettyImages

It appears that Ippei Mizuhara, former translator of Los Angeles Dodgers superstar Shohei Ohtani, stole more money than initially reported. This is based on recent news regarding his plea deal negotiations on multiple federal crimes for involvement in a gambling scandal and alleged theft, per Tim Arango and Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times.

The matter is under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) criminal division, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Central District of California, which exposed that Mizuhara "may have stolen more money from Ohtani than the $4.5 million he was initially accused of pilfering," Arango and Schmidt wrote based on what they have heard from those informed on the subject, adding that "the authorities think they have evidence that Mizuhara was able to change the settings on Ohtani's bank account so Ohtani would not receive alerts and confirmations about transactions."

Now, there seems to be more clarity on how much money Mizuhara swiped from Ohtani, and it is significantly more than the $4.5 million in question at first, according to Alden Gonzalez of ESPN. 

Ippei Mizuhara's alleged theft of Shohei Ohtani is even worse than we thought

Mizuhara allegedly "transferred more than $16 million from Ohtani's account to an alleged illegal sports book," Alden Gonzalez of ESPN points out based on an announcement made by federal authorities in court.

A messy situation only continues to get more muddled, and it feels like there is only the beginning of this nasty scandal involving Ohtani and someone he thought he could trust in Mizuhara, who had been working with the former since he first entered the MLB in 2018.

Mizuhara previously went on the record with ESPN to communicate that Ohtani "agreed to pay" his gambling debts. But the former has since said that the latter had no knowledge or involvement in the situation. 

Moreover, The Times noted that Mizuhara informed Ohtani's agent, Nez Balelo, that the two-time MVP had been doing the same for an unnamed teammate, further contradicting earlier statements that the Dodgers star had nothing to do with the allegations at hand. But at this point, it is tough to decipher fact from fiction until we have more information, so stay tuned.