Ex-MLB Star Advises Shohei Ohtani: Stay Sharp on Finances Amid Betting Controversy

Major MLB Scandal Unfolds with Staggering Financial Implications.

by Faizan Chaudhary
Ex-MLB Star Advises Shohei Ohtani: Stay Sharp on Finances Amid Betting Controversy
© Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

The scandal surrounding Shohei Ohtani's financial mismanagement has resurfaced, unveiling deeper and more concerning details. In a recent development, it has come to light that Ippei Mizuhara, Ohtani’s former interpreter, allegedly orchestrated a complex scheme that diverted millions from the MLB star's bank account without his knowledge.

Federal prosecutors assert that Mizuhara linked his personal mobile number and a secretive email address to Ohtani's banking records, effectively masking any trace of unauthorized transactions. The subterfuge included impersonating Ohtani on calls to authorize significant wire transfers directly from the player’s account.

Financial Oversight Urged

This intricate deception was highlighted in a recent episode of the Foul Territory podcast, where former MLB catcher A.J. Pierzynski emphasized the critical importance of regularly monitoring personal finances, especially in an era dominated by digital banking.

Pierzynski advised, "In today’s world, with the way everything is on this little device right here, you should be checking your finances at least once a week." Further investigations reveal that Mizuhara allegedly funneled over $16 million from Ohtani's funds to settle debts with Matthew Bowyer, a bookmaker based in Orange County.

The betting started in September 2021, with nearly 19,000 bets placed over the course of two years, totaling a staggering $142.2 million in winnings. Unfortunately, losses amounted to $182.9 million, netting a considerable deficit.

The scale of Mizuhara's gambling was astonishing, averaging 25 bets per day at about $320,000, with the winnings credited to his own account. Moreover, Mizuhara's misuse of Ohtani’s finances extended to lavish spending sprees online, including $325,000 on eBay for over a thousand baseball collectibles he intended to resell.

As the legal proceedings progress, the charges against Mizuhara could lead to a sentence of up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million if convicted. Discussions of a guilty plea are underway, according to the New York Times, but no agreement has been confirmed.

This unfolding scandal underscores the vulnerabilities associated with digital financial management and highlights the need for heightened vigilance and personal oversight in the handling of one's financial affairs. As the case develops, the sports world remains vigilant, awaiting further disclosures and legal outcomes in this disconcerting saga.

Shohei Ohtani