The Wildest Stuff Alleged In The Criminal Complaint Against Ippei Mizuhara

Earlier today, the full complaint against Ippei Mizuhara was filed in the Central District of California, formally charging Mizuhara with stealing over $16 million from Shohei Ohtani, whom he worked for as translator and manager, as he racked up more than $40 million in gambling debts. The full complaint can be found at the bottom of this post; here is a list of some of the new, notable, and downright nutso stuff alleged within.

  • Between Dec. 2021 and Jan. 2024, Mizuhara’s betting account placed approximately 19,000 wagers. The wagers averaged roughly $12,800. There were $142,245,769.74 in wins and $182,935,206,68 losses, totaling a $40,678,436.94 hole.
  • There were no records of bets on baseball games.
  • In 2018, Mizuhara drove Ohtani, referred to as Victim A in the complaint, to the bank and served as translator when he set up the account Ohtani used to receive his salary from the Angels. This was the account later used to wire money to the illegal bookmaker.
  • The account was never accessed online between 2018 and Oct. 27, 2021. The account was first accessed approximately one month after Mizuhara gained access to an illegal bookmaker’s gambling website.
  • All of the devices used to access the bank account were devices that were also used to access Mizuhara’s personal bank account. All of Mizuhara’s winnings were deposited to his personal account, not the account used to pay the bookmaker.
  • In multiple calls recorded by the bank, Mizuhara pretended to be Ohtani when authorizing the wire transfers, and answered security questions that referenced details of Ohtani’s personal life.
  • Mizuhara is alleged to have continuously asked the bookmaker for credit bumps that were always granted. For the final bump, the bookmaker responded, “Done ✔ 👊🏻. I have the same problem 😂. To be honest with you Ippie, as long as you can guarantee the 500 every Monday I’ll give you as much as you want because I know you’re good for it[.]” This was not the only instance of the bookmaker referring to Mizuhara as “Ippie.”
  • The same account used to pay out the bookmaker also showed “approximately $325 thousand in transactions at eBay and Whatnot between Jan. and March 2024.”
  • Mizuhara received packages that were emailed to the clubhouse under the alias “Jay Min.” The packages contained baseball cards, including “cards for baseball players Yogi Berra, Juan Soto, and Victim A.”
  • Mizuhara told the bookmaker that he “[lost] a lot of money on crypto.”
  • Ohtani also employed a professional bookkeeper, financial manager, and tax preparer and accountant, who, along with his agent, managed all of his domestic endorsement deals, which were handled in separate accounts. None of them spoke Japanese or hired anyone who spoke Japanese.
  • Ohtani’s agent inquired at multiple points about the bank account that received Ohtani’s salary, but Mizuhara told him that Ohtani wished for it to be kept private.
  • Ohtani only ever asked Mizuhara for overarching updates about his finances and assumed that his agent and financial managers had access to all of his accounts.
  • An HSI special agent who is a native Japanese speaker reviewed “approximately 9,700 pages of [Ohtani’s] text messages” from 2020 to 2024. There was no discussion of sports betting, or Mizuhara’s gambling. Ohtani’s browser history showed no evidence of gambling.
  • The scheme almost unraveled in December 2023, when the bookmaker messaged Mizuhara, “Hey Ippie, it’s 2 o’clock on Friday. I don’t know why you’re not returning my calls. I’m here in Newport Beach and I see [Victim A] walking his dog. I’m just gonna go up and talk to him and ask how I can get in touch with you since you’re not responding?”
  • Mizuhara sent encrypted messages to an illegal bookmaker after The Los Angeles Times and ESPN articles came out. Mizuhara asked the bookmaker, “Have you seen the reports?” The bookmaker responded, “Yes, but that’s all bullshit. Obviously you didn’t steal from him. I understand it’s a cover job I totally get it.” Mizuhara then said, “Technically I did steal from him. it’s all over for me.”
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The full complaint is below.

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