Ohtani’s Former Interpreter Agrees To Plead Guilty To Stealing Nearly $17M From Dodgers Superstar

Shohei Ohtani’s former interpreter has agreed to plead guilty to two federal charges for stealing nearly $17 million from the Dodger slugger’s bank account to pay off illegal gambling debts, prosecutors announced today.

Ippei Mizuhara, 39, could face more than 30 years in federal prison under the plea deal, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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“The extent of this defendant’s deception and theft is massive,” said United States Attorney Martin Estrada. “He took advantage of his position of trust to take advantage of Mr. Ohtani and fuel a dangerous gambling habit. My office is committed to vindicating victims throughout our community and ensuring that wrongdoers face justice.”

In one of the most damning portions of the criminal complaint, prosecutors including a text from Mizuhara to “Bookmaker 1” where the duo were discussing public reports of the theft from the Dodgers player.

“Technically I did steal from him. It’s all over for me,” wrote Mizuhara bluntly in words any jury is going to have a hard time overlooking.

The Japan-born player’s interpreter almost since the day he joined MLB, Mizuhara has been using Ohtani’s accounts and name to get his hands on big bucks since 2018, prosecutors contend. They also revealed recent discussions with Ohtani himself on the matter.

Arraignment for Mizuhara, originally scheduled for tomorrow, has now been set for next Tuesday, May 14.

City News Service contributed to this post.

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