Shohei Ohtani’s ex-interpreter pleads guilty to stealing nearly $17 million

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Shohei Ohtani’s former interpreter has agreed to plead guilty to two federal charges of stealing nearly $17 million from the Dodger slugger’s bank account to pay off illegal gambling debts, prosecutors announced today.

Ippei Mizuhara, 39, could face more than 30 years in prison under the plea deal, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In one of the most damning parts of the criminal complaint, prosecutors attached a text message from Mizuhara to “Bookmaker 1” in which the duo discussed public reports about the Dodgers player’s theft.

“Technically, I stole from him. For me it is all over,” Mizuhara wrote bluntly in words that any jury would find difficult to miss.

The Japanese-born player’s interpreter almost since the day he joined the MLB, Mizuhara has been using Ohtani’s accounts and name to get big money since 2018, prosecutors allege. They also revealed recent conversations with Ohtani himself on the matter.

Mizuhara’s arraignment, originally scheduled for tomorrow, is now scheduled for next Tuesday, May 14.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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