June 4, 2024 3 min read

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Mizuhara Pleads Guilty to Stealing from Ohtani to Cover Gambling Debts  

During the hearing, Mizuhara admitted that he had access to Ohtani’s bank accounts and resorted to using the athlete’s money in order to pay back a huge gambling debt he had amassed

Ippei Mizuhara, the former interpreter of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Shohei Ohtani, has pleaded guilty to charges of bank and tax fraud. He now faces a possible sentence of up to three decades in prison.

For context, Mizuhara was recently accused of stealing millions of dollars from Ohtani. Serving as a confidant to the Dodgers’ star player, the former man had the athlete’s trust. As a result, Mizuhara managed to access Ohtani’s bank account and channel millions toward the illegal operations of Matthew Bowyer, a prominent Californian bookie.

Believed to have placed more than 19,000 bets, Mizuhara has spent almost $17 million of Ohtani’s money, betraying his trust. In addition to facing a maximum sentence of up to 33 years in jail, Mizuhara will likely be asked to pay back the money he took from Ohtani.

During the hearing, Mizuhara admitted that he had access to Ohtani’s bank accounts and resorted to using the athlete’s money in order to pay back a huge gambling debt he had amassed.

After acknowledging the consequences of admitting guilt, Mizuhara submitted a guilty plea. His sentencing has thus been scheduled for October 25.

Since Mizuhara isn’t a citizen of the United States, his crime carried “significant immigration consequences” according to US attorney Martin Estrada. These consequences would likely apply after the sentencing has been completed.

Ohtani and the Dodgers Released Statements  

In the meantime, Ohtani responded to Mizuhara’s guilty plea, saying that he hoped it would mark the end of this “chapter of his life.”

Now that the investigation has been completed, this full admission of guilt has brought important closure to me and my family. I want to sincerely thank the authorities for finishing their thorough and effective investigation so quickly and uncovering all of the evidence.

Shohei Ohtani, LA Dodgers player

Ohtani added that the Mizuhara saga has taken a toll on him. Despite that, he is glad to have received support from his family, lawyers, agents and, of course, the LA Dodgers.

Speaking of the Dodgers, the team also released a statement on the matter. The club expressed a desire to move forward and put the Mizuhara matter behind. Now, the Dodgers plan to focus on the pursuit of a World Series title, the statement concluded.

While the Dodgers and Ohtani wish to forget this notorious case, others found it creatively inspiring. According to a recent report, a TV series based on the scandal is currently in the making.  

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Angel has a passion for all forms of writing, be it fiction or nonfiction. His curious nature gives him an ace up his sleeve when researching a new topic. Angel’s thirst for knowledge, paired with adaptability, always helps him find his way around.

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