Shohei Ohtani’s Ex-Interpreter: Pleads Guilty

Shohei Ohtani’s ex-interpreter has agreed to plead guilty to bank and tax fraud in the sports betting case.

According to prosecutors, Shohei Ohtani’s ex-interpreter stole nearly $7 million from the Japanese baseball player to pay debts, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

Since March, when the scandal surrounding Shohei Ohtani’s former interpreter Ippei Mizuhara erupted, it has sent shockwaves through baseball fans from the United States to Japan.

Shohei Ohtani’s ex-interpreter will plead guilty to one count of bank fraud and one count of underwriting a false tax return application, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.

The bank fraud charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison, and the charge of filing a false tax return application is punishable by up to three years.

The plea agreement for Shohei Ohtani’s former interpreter indicates that the defendant will have to pay Ohtani a settlement totaling close to $17 million.

But in addition another of more than $1 million to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

These amounts could change prior to sentencing.


Mizuhara is known to enter his plea in the coming weeks. He would have to appear in court on May 14, according to prosecutors.

“The degree of deception and theft by this defendant is very high,” Martin Estrada, a federal prosecutor, said in a statement. “He took advantage of his position of trust to take advantage of Mr. Ohtani and to feed a dangerous gambling habit.”

Shohei Ohtani’s ex-Interpreter: Pleads Guilty

Mizuhara exploited his personal and professional relationship with Ohtani to withdraw millions of dollars from the baseball player’s account over the years.

The former Shohei Ohtani performer even went so far as to impersonate Ohtani to bankers, according to prosecutors.

Mizuhara’s winning bets exceeded $142 million, which he deposited into his own bank account and not Ohtani’s. But his losing bets hovered around $183 million.

He had a net loss of $41 million. He would not have bet on baseball.

The investigation came two days after The Times first reported that Ohtani’s representatives accused Mizuhara, his longtime performer and close friend, of engaging in a “massive theft” of the two-way star’s funds.

The subject stole millions of dollars of Ohtani’s money allegedly used to pay gambling debts Mizuhara owed to an illegal gambling house.

Prior to The Times’ report, Mizuhara had given an interview to ESPN on Tuesday in which he claimed Ohtani had paid his gambling debts.

However, before the interview was published, ESPN said Mizuhara – whose first interview with the media outlet was arranged by a “spokesman for Ohtani” – retracted his story.

At the time, he noted that Ohtani had no knowledge of his gambling debts, nor had it been the star who had transferred the money from his accounts.

Will Ireton is the man now entrusted with the role of interpreter for Dodgers superstar Shohei Ohtani in the wake of an illegal gambling scandal and “massive theft” allegations involving his former manager Ippei Mizuhara.

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