Ohtani’s Ex-Interpreter Steals $17M From MLB Star

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Ohtanis Ex-Interpreter Steals $17M From MLB Star

Shohei Ohtani’s former interpreter pleaded guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud charges in a packed Santa Ana, California, federal courtroom, admitting he stole nearly $17 million from the MLB superstar to help pay off massive gambling debts.

Ohtani’s Ex-Interpreter Steals $17M From MLB Star : The Admission and Charges

Ippei Mizuhara, 39, admitted during Tuesday’s hearing that he stole the money from Ohtani, a star player with the Los Angeles Dodgers, because he had access to Ohtani’s bank account and needed money to pay off his gambling debts to an illegal bookmaker. Mizuhara faces up to 33 years in prison, according to his plea deal with federal prosecutors.

The courtroom of U.S. District Judge John W. Holcomb was filled with members of the media and onlookers. Mizuhara, dressed in a dark suit, showed little emotion and gave straightforward answers as the judge asked routine questions about his understanding of the case and the rights he was waiving by pleading guilty.

Near the end of the hearing, Judge Holcomb asked Mizuhara to describe his actions in his own words. Without showing strong emotion, Mizuhara referred to Ohtani as “Victim A,” which is how he is referenced in the government’s charging documents.