Liabilities Exceeding 2.6 Billion Yen for Ippei Mizuhara, Not Just an Uber Eats Delivery Driver, Highlight Harsh Reality | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Liabilities Exceeding 2.6 Billion Yen for Ippei Mizuhara, Not Just an Uber Eats Delivery Driver, Highlight Harsh Reality

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Shohei Ohtani (left) scammed ¥2.6 billion by former interpreter Ippei Mizuhara.


Ippei Mizuhara, who admitted guilt in a massive fraud case involving Shohei Ohtani of the Dodgers, has started anew as an Uber Eats delivery driver.

“Seriously? This has to be a joke.”

“Yeah, this is hilarious.”

While voices mocking him abound online, given Mizuhara’s unavoidable current situation, it’s understandable.

Defendant Mizuhara was prosecuted for bank fraud, having illegally transferred approximately $17 million (about 2.6 billion yen) from Ohtani’s bank account, and for making false tax declarations. He pleaded guilty to both charges during the plea hearing held on June 4 (June 5 Japan time).

When the defendant took the witness stand, he admitted to embezzling over 2.6 billion yen from Ohtani’s account.

“I was working for Victim A. I had access to his bank account. I had accumulated substantial gambling debts, so I made wire transfers from his bank account.”

He testified, referring to Ohtani as “Victim A.”.

Furthermore, he admitted to not declaring a crime involving $4.1 million (approximately 635 million yen), which he believed was obtained from illegal gambling, in his 2022 tax return.

Under U.S. law, he faces a maximum potential sentence of 33 years for these two offenses, but the defendant has opted for a plea deal.

“It is anticipated that he will likely face a prison sentence of 5 to 10 years,” according to an informed source

Prospect of becoming. After serving the sentence in the United States, it is said that he will be forcibly deported. According to a sports newspaper’s major sports reporter.

“Whether Ohtani seeks repayment or not, Mizuhara will end up with debts of over 2.6 billion yen. Currently, job opportunities are limited. Being an Uber Eats delivery driver is a reasonable choice.”

Mizuhara’s day job is as an interpreter, but with a pending guilty verdict, there’s zero chance of being employed. In that case, even if he were to work at restaurants or supermarkets, he would quickly be exposed and swarmed by the media.

In contrast, with Uber Eats, delivery destinations change daily, so the likelihood of media attention if exposed is lower than with other occupations.

“With an astronomical debt burden and some suggesting the term personal bankruptcy, it’s important to note that bankruptcy won’t apply to money obtained through fraud. This means Mizuhara will have to repay as much as possible throughout his future life. He’ll also need to earn daily bread for his livelihood, leading a life akin to hell.” (Same sports newspaper reporter)

Some reports even mention the possibility of a Netflix adaptation of the ‘Mizuhara Incident,’ given the significant interest in both Japan and the United States, which could generate substantial revenue. However, whether Mizuhara will benefit from this remains uncertain.

“America is a country where everything becomes business, but there are many negative opinions about criminals profiting from fraud. There are also issues regarding rights to one’s likeness. Recently, there has been increasing skepticism about discussions of a film adaptation.” (TV station insider)

However, expecting Mizuhara to repay 2.6 billion yen as an Uber Eats delivery driver seems unrealistic. In that regard, publishing Mizuhara’s autobiography might be the most practical option.

Another sports newspaper reporter covering the series of events said:

“Mizuhara’s sentence will be handed down on October 25 (Japan time October 26). By working for Uber Eats and demonstrating a willingness to work, he likely hopes to reduce his sentence even a little.”

Regarding the publication of the autobiography, the reporter speculated:

“I have heard that several offers have already been made behind the scenes. Of course, he won’t respond immediately, but I believe that’s the only way to reduce his debt.” (Same sports newspaper reporter)

The reporter stated.

The “Mizuhara Theater” seems far from over.

  • PHOTO Kojiro Yamada

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