Home US Former Shohei Ohtani performer Ippei Mizuhara is accused of bank fraud after allegedly stealing more than $16 MILLION from the baseball star to pay off his gambling debt.

Former Shohei Ohtani performer Ippei Mizuhara is accused of bank fraud after allegedly stealing more than $16 MILLION from the baseball star to pay off his gambling debt.

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Former Shohei Ohtani performer Ippei Mizuhara has been charged with bank fraud after allegedly stealing more than $16 million from the Los Angeles Dodgers player.

Former Shohei Ohtani performer Ippei Mizuhara has been charged with bank fraud after allegedly stealing more than $16 million from the Los Angeles Dodgers player to settle a gambling debt.

Federal authorities have filed a complaint accusing Mizuhara of bank fraud, which can carry a maximum fine of up to $1 million and/or up to 30 years in prison.

In the complaint, Ohtani, who was referred to only as a “professional baseball player,” informed authorities that he did not authorize the transfers.

Lawyers for Ohtani, who signed a $700 million contract with the Dodgers last winter, said he was the victim of a “massive theft.”

According to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, the complaint is “merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.” “.

Former Shohei Ohtani performer Ippei Mizuhara has been charged with bank fraud after allegedly stealing more than $16 million from the Los Angeles Dodgers player.

The statement says the IRS and the Department of Homeland Security are conducting a criminal investigation.

In that statement, it is revealed that Ohtani told authorities that he denied authorizing Mizuhara’s bank transfers to pay gambling debts.

Ohtani turned his cell phone over to authorities, “who determined that there was no evidence to suggest that Ohtani was aware of or involved in Mizuhara’s illegal gambling activity or the repayment of those debts.”

“In September 2021, Mizuhara began betting at an illegal sports book and, several months later, began losing significant sums of money,” the statement states.

“During this time, the contact information on Ohtani’s bank account was allegedly changed to link the account to Mizuhara’s phone number and an anonymous email address connected to Mizuhara.”

Authorities also say Mizuhara allegedly called Ohtani’s bank and falsely identified himself as Ohtani to “trick bank employees into authorizing wire transfers from Ohtani’s bank account to associates of the illegal gambling operation.”

In the photo: Martín Estrada, United States Attorney for the Central District of California

In the photo: Martín Estrada, United States Attorney for the Central District of California

Mizuhara was fired by the Dodgers while in Korea when the theft was initially revealed.

Mizuhara was fired by the Dodgers while in Korea when the theft was initially revealed.

Mizuhara was fired by the Los Angeles Dodgers last month after Ohtani’s lawyers accused him of theft.

Initial reports said Mizuhara was accused of stealing $4.5 million, but the amount he is now accused of is much higher.

Mizuhara is not accused of betting on baseball, the federal prosecutor said.

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