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Monday, May 27, 2024

New Report Shows How Bookie Laundered Ohtani’s Stolen Cash

  • The casino in question has a history with illegal funds.
  • The money trail is part of an ongoing federal probe into Ohtani’s former interpreter.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Shohei Ohtani’s stolen money has taken the government up Interstate 15 from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. 

The millions of dollars stolen by Ohtani’s former interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, to pay off illegal bookmakers ended up deposited in gambling accounts at casinos in California and Las Vegas, according to ESPN. From there, they were converted into chips and cashed out to pay the bookies. 

The money trail is the latest revelation in the federal investigation surrounding Ohtani’s money after Mizuhara stole more than $16 million from the Dodgers’ star to drive his gambling addiction. 

Mizuhara placed his bets with Mathew Bowyer, an illegal bookie based out of Southern California. ESPN reported Mizuhara paid Bowyer through an “associate,” who sent the money to a “marker” account at Resorts World, a Vegas-based casino. Bowyer and his comrade withdrew the money in the form of chips at Resorts World to gamble. 

Bowyer lost $7.9 million from gambling at Resorts World from June 2022 to October ’23, ESPN reported, and was banned from U.S. casinos last year after a federal raid on his alleged bookmaking operation.

“Resorts World is at the center” of a federal investigation into gambling and money laundering, according to the ESPN story.

The off-Strip luxury hotel opened in 2021 and was issued a federal subpoena in August ’23 for documents related to its anti-money laundering policies. 

Scott Sibella, the original president and chief operating officer of Resorts World, is slated to be sentenced May 8 for federal charges of failing to report suspicious gambling activity to the federal government while serving as MGM Grand’s president in 2018, a year before he left to run Resorts World. 

That investigation was tied to Wayne Nix, another Southern California bookie, whose clients included NBA legend Scottie Pippen, LeBron James’s business partner Maverick Carter, and former Dodger Yasiel Puig. 

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