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Shohei Ohtani’s former interpreter negotiating guilty plea in connection to purported theft: Report

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Shohei Ohtani’s former interpreter negotiating guilty plea in connection to purported theft: Report


Ippei Mizuhara, the former interpreter for Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani who was fired in March after Ohtani alleged Mizuhara stole millions of dollars to pay gambling debts, is negotiating a deal to plead guilty for the purported theft, according to a report by the New York Times.

The report described the investigation into Mizuhara’s alleged theft as “rapidly nearing a conclusion” and indicated that federal prosecutors found evidence that Mizuhara may have stolen more than the $4.5 million that initially appeared in news reports when the story first broke. Evidence alleges that Mizuhara altered the settings on Ohtani’s bank accounts so Ohtani would not be aware of the transactions, per the report.

Those alleged actions would serve as confirmation for Ohtani’s only statements on the case, which came after the Dodgers returned from South Korea on March 25.

“Ippei has been stealing money from my account and has told lies,” Ohtani said through his new interpreter, Will Ireton.

Mizuhara has hired former federal prosecutor Michael Freedman as his attorney, according to the Times. A message left for Freedman was not immediately returned.

The IRS and the Department of Homeland Security, along with the U.S. attorney’s office for the Central District of California, had opened an investigation into Mizuhara and Mathew Bowyer, the alleged illegal bookmaker who Mizuhara said he placed bets with. A spokesperson with the U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment.

Major League Baseball has also opened an investigation into the situation. An MLB spokesperson declined to comment when reached on Wednesday evening.

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(Photo: Rob Leiter / MLB Photos via Getty Images)





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