Ohtani's ex-interpreter reportedly wired money to 'Real Housewives' star to pay gambling debts

A name that might be familiar to regular watchers of “The Real Housewives of Orange County” has come up in connection to the criminal case against Shohei Ohtani’s former interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara.

Ryan Boyajian, who appeared in all 17 episodes of the long-running reality series last season as the boyfriend of cast member Jennifer Pedranti, was a middle man between Mizuhara and alleged illegal bookmaker Mathew Bowyer, according to a report from ESPN that cited unnamed sources.

According to ESPN, Boyajian is the person referred to as “Associate 1” in the federal complaint against Mizuhara. The complaint states that Mizuhara was instructed to make wire payments to a bank account in the name of “Associate 1” to pay off his gambling debts. That account, ESPN reports, is one Bowyer and Boyajian have used for real estate projects.

Between February 2022 and October 2023, the complaint states, that account received wire payments of at least $15 million from the account of “Victim A,” who is known to be Ohtani. According to the plea agreement, Mizuhara made the payments without “Victim A’s” knowledge because the former interpreter had changed the email address and phone number on file for Ohtani’s bank account to his own email address and phone number.

The U.S. Department of Justice said Wednesday that Mizuhara has agreed to plead guilty in federal court to stealing millions of dollars from Ohtani to cover gambling debts. Mizuhara has been accused of stealing more than $17 million from the Dodgers star.

Ohtani was cleared of any wrongdoing in the matter by federal authorities last month.

Steven Katzman, an attorney for Boyajian, declined to answer questions on the matter emailed from The Times “in light of the ongoing investigation for which my client is cooperating.”

“He is not a bookmaker or a sub-bookie,” Katzman told ESPN of Boyanjian.

Boyajian has received immunity in return for his testimony, multiple sources told ESPN. Bowyer was not named in the complaint against Mizuhara and has not been charged with a crime.

Pedranti and Boyajian announced their engagement to People magazine last month.

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