Shohei Ohtani’s former interpreter Ippei Mizuhara pleads GUILTY to theft in gambling scandal

Shohei Ohtani’s former interpreter Ippei Mizuhara pleads GUILTY to theft in gambling scandal

Shohei Ohtani’s former interpreter and friend Ippei Mizuhara pleads guilty to charges of theft in gambling scandal allegations

Shohei Ohtani’s former interpreter Ippei Mizuhara pleads GUILTY to theft in gambling scandal

Ippei Mizuhara and Shohei Ohtani [Image Credit: Imago]

Shohei Ohtani’s former interpreter Ippei Mizuhara’s gambling case finally takes its first step to a closure. According to reports from the NY Times, Mizuhara has pleaded guilty to the federal judge in charge of this case.

Furthermore, if an alleged person pleads guilty soon, they have a chance to get a reduced sentence as authorities “look more favorably upon defendants who make the government’s job easier by expeditiously admitting their guilt.” Mizuhara is currently in negotiations to plead guilty.

Upon return to California, he hired LA prosecutor Michael Freedman, but the latter has opposed any comments to the media as of now. Furthermore, as per the latest investigations, it is reported that Mizuhara took more than $4.5 million to cover his gambling debts, expectedly $16 million to be exact.

There’s been evidence of Ippei Mizuhara changing Shohei Ohatni’s bank account setting so he won’t get any notifications or alerts on the taken money. Earlier, when the rumors of his theft broke out, Ohtani confirmed that he had not taken any participation in gambling nor had any idea about his long-time friend’s gambling addiction.

In particular, the authorities think they have evidence that Mizuhara was able to change the settings on Ohtani’s bank account so Ohtani would not receive alerts and confirmations about transactions, the three people said.

Authorities statement as per NY Times.

Ohtani’s lawyers informed the authorities about the alleged gambling case, and the pitcher later agreed to cooperate in every way possible to clear his name from this incident. The betting scandal first made its way into the spotlight during the LA Dodgers game at Seoul for the Spring Series.

It was Ohatni’s first game as a Dodgers after an enormous $700 million deal with the team. The team immediately fired Mizuhara and the MLB and police started investigating the matter.

Earlier, Commissioner Rob Manfred noted how he wanted the investigation to end soon, to not affect Ohtani’s reputation in the long run, or during the ongoing 2024 season. Seems like his wish came true, as the long-awaited case started its way to an end.

Shohei Ohtani cleared of gambling charges in Ippei Mizuhara’s case

Following Ippei Mizuhara’s alleged betting case, Shohei Ohtani appeared in public to speak about the unsettling incident and what he thought of it. He started off by mentioning he had no involvement or knowledge about his gambling addiction and only came to know when Mizuhara first spoke about it in the clubhouse.
Ippei Mizuhara and Shohei Ohtani

Ippei Mizuhara and Shohei Ohtani (Image via Imago)
Despite not being fluent in English, Ohtani could pick up what was going on and later confronted Mizuhara about it in his hotel room. It was only then he knew about the scandal and had no idea what was happening behind his back. The gambling story reached a new peak as there were several accusations and stories made up with no proof on either side.

The confusion was rooted mostly after Mizuhara’s media appearance where he first accused Ohtani of paying gambling debts for an unnamed teammate, and later on said he himself racked up piles of debts from betting in the game. However, despite Ohtani’s denial, there have been many who speculated how much the Dodgers star was involved in the case.

Although several questions still remain, there is no further evidence or media appearance of any official or prosecutor on this matter. Since the investigation has taken its first successful step, the fans can expect to hear a clear story and know about Mizuhara’s gambling consequences soon.

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