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Ippei Mizuhara Investigation Ends, Shohei Ohtani’s Former Interpreter Pleads Guilty

Ippei Mizuhara pleaded guilty During a court hearing held this Tuesday, Ippei Mizuhara pleaded guilty to tax return fraud and stealing from LA Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani. This marked the conclusion of MLB’s investigation into the case. In addition, MLB stated that because of the information gathered through the probe and the straightforward resolution of criminal proceedings, the league “considers Shohei Ohtani a victim of fraud, and this matter has been closed.”

As reported by the Associated Press, in his admission, Mizuhara spoke of his gambling debt and confessed he had wired money from Ohtani’s account. Given the severity of the criminal conduct involved, Mizuhara is set to spend a total of 33 years behind bars if no mitigating factors are taken into account when he is sentenced this October. He has also been mandated to pay back the over $16 million he stole from Ohtani.

Mizuhara Initially Pretended Ohtani Had Agreed to the Transfers

Ippei Mizuhara and Shohei Ohtani News of Mizuhara’s crimes first surfaced this March when ESPN revealed that he had been fired by the Dodgers for wiring millions from the player’s account for the purpose of wagering. Prior to him being let go, it initially appeared no theft had occurred. When speaking with ESPN, a spokesperson for Ohtani even said the player had willingly assisted Mizuhara with paying off the money his interpreter owed due to gambling. This aligned with Mizuhara’s own account of how Ohtani had been aware of Mizuhara’s betting and had, as he said during an interview with ESPN, helped him. Mizuhara would later backtrack on this statement, however, since Ohtani’s lawyers clarified that the player “had been the victim of a massive theft.”

The discrepancy between the account of the spokesperson and the reveal that Ohtani had neither known of nor approved the wire transfers was attributed to Mizuhara, seeing as Ohtani’s representatives had trusted the interpreter to inform Ohtani of the situation and relay his response to them. Mizuhara had done neither.

What followed were months-long investigations by MLB and federal authorities, which sought to thoroughly examine the extent of Mizuhara’s crimes. Although there was speculation that Ohtani might have partaken in gambling, the player denied such accusations. The baseball league and federal authorities would come to verify that he was telling the truth.

What Follows for Ohtani and the Dodgers

Shohei Ohtani Tuesday marked the end of a situation that has undoubtedly served as a source of major stress for Ohtani. In a statement following the hearing, the MLB celebrated the conclusion of the investigations, as well as how Ohtani and his team “can put the entire matter behind them” and continue with their efforts to claim the 2024 World Series title.

Ohtani himself also spoke on the matter, sharing how Mizuhara’s plea of guilt brought closure for both him and his close ones. He expressed his gratitude toward the authorities who were swift in resolving the issue, as well as toward his family, agent, lawyers, the Dodgers organization, and, all in all, everyone who has supported him in the past months.

He ended his statement by saying the following:

“It’s time to close this chapter, move on, and continue to focus on playing and winning ballgames.”

 Author: Harrison Young

Harrison Young is an experienced writer, who started his career almost 8 years ago. Prior to joining our team at CasinoGamesPro, he worked as an editor for a small magazine.