Angels News: Ippei Mizuhara Pleads Guilty To Stealing Money From Dodgers’ Superstar Shohei Ohtani
Shohei Ohtani, Ippei Mizuhara, 2021 Season
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The very beginning of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 2024 season — and former L.A. Angels two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani’s first season with up the five freeway — was marred by a gambling scandal involving Ohtani’s former interpreter Ippei Mizuhara. Mizuhara was fired by the Dodgers after allegations that he stole money from Ohtani — in the millions — to pay off gambling debts.

At first, Mizuhara’s alleged misconduct implicated Ohtani, but an investigation cleared the two-way star of any wrong doing and has allowed him to move forward with his playing career with new interpreter Will Ireton. This only left Mizuhara to be investigated and subsequently charged.

Mizuhara has already apologized publicly to Ohtani and the Dodgers, and is now cooperating with the federal charges. On Wednesday, Mizuhara pleaded guilty to the charges of bank fraud and tax fraud associated with theft of funds, according to Meghann Cuniff of The Washington Post:

Mizuhara now moves ahead with the legal process and will be subject to sentencing. According to Cuniff, pleading guilty to these two counts could land Mizuhara in prison for anywhere from seven to nine years.

While Ohtani was already cleared of any wrongdoing in this situation, Mizuhara pleading guilty allows the Dodger superstar to move forward with the season and not have to worry about any distractions of potentially having to appear in court.

Mizuhara now faces 7-9 years in federal prison.

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