‘Real Housewives’ Star Ryan Boyajian Implicated in Shohei Ohtani Gambling Scandal

Posted on: May 9, 2024, 03:49h. 

Last updated on: May 10, 2024, 09:22h.

A mystery figure at the center of the betting scandal involving Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani and his interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, is a cast member of the Bravo reality TV series “The Real Housewives of Orange County,” according to an ESPN report.

Ryan Boyajian, Jennifer Pedranti, Shohei Ohtani, Matthew Bowyer, Ippei Mizuhara, Wayne Nix, Resorts World, MGM Grand, Pechanga Casino
Real Housewives stars Ryan Boyajian, left, and Jennifer Pedranti. Boyajian received payments from Ohtani interpreter Ippei Mizuhara for illegal bookie Matthew Bowyer, according to ESPN. (Image: Bravo TV)

Ryan Boyajian, who appears in the show as the fiancé of “RHOC” star Jennifer Pedranti, is allegedly the mystery figure to whom Mizuhara wired millions of dollars to pay his gambling debts from Ohtani’s account.

Boyajian was simply referred to as “Associate 1” in a federal criminal complaint against Mizuhara that accuses him of stealing at least $17 million from Ohtani.

Mizuhara Takes Plea Deal

On Wednesday, Mizuhara agreed to plead guilty to one count of bank fraud and one count of subscribing to a false tax return. The interpreter has admitted wiring “at least $15 million” to an account in Boyajian’s name, per court documents. The reality star received the money on behalf of California-based illegal bookmaker Matthew Bowyer, who is referred to as “Bookmaker 1” in the complaint.

Boyajian would then forward the money to marker accounts at Resorts World and California’s Pechanga Casino. The men withdrew the funds in chips, gambled with them, and cashed out what was left.

Bowyer lost $7.9 million gambling at Resorts World from June 2022 to October 2023, according to ABC News sources.

The bookie was the target of a wider investigation by federal agents in Southern California into illegal sports betting and the possible washing of profits at Las Vegas casinos.

Another target was Wayne Nix, a former minor league baseball player who provided illegal bookmaking services for pro players of several sports.

Sibella Sentenced

On Wednesday, former Resorts World and MGM Grand president Scott Sibella was sentenced to one year’s probation and a $9,500 fine for violating the Bank Secrecy Act, an anti-money laundering statute. Sibella failed to write out a suspicious transaction report when Nix paid a marker at the MGM Grand with $120K in cash. He also allowed the bookie to gamble despite knowing the source of his funds came from illegal bookmaking.

Nix is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to federal tax and gambling charges. Bowyer is yet to be charged with any crime.

Steven Katzman, Boyajian’s criminal attorney, told ESPN his client was “working with federal authorities” and could not “confirm or deny what is going on.”

“He is not a bookmaker or a sub-bookie,” Katzman added.

Mizuhara faces up to 30 years in prison, despite his plea deal.