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Feds say Shohei Ohtani’s ex-interpreter Ippei Mizuhara stole $16M

Alden Gonzalez Paula Lavigne, ESPN

LOS ANGELES — The former interpreter for Shohei Ohtani stole more than $16 million over two years from the Los Angeles Dodgers superstar to pay off gambling debts to an illegal sportsbook, according to an affidavit filed by federal authorities Thursday.

Federal authorities filed a complaint accusing Ippei Mizuhara, 39, of bank fraud, which can carry a maximum fine of up to $1 million and/or up to 30 years in prison, according to federal sentencing guidelines.

“I want to emphasize this point: Mr. Ohtani is considered a victim in this case,” U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada said during a news conference in Los Angeles.

Estrada added that there was no evidence Ohtani had any knowledge of Mizuhara’s gambling activities or use of his bank account to pay his debts. He said investigators combed through years of text messages between the two and found no discussion of gambling.

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