Ippei Mizuhara to Plead Guilty to Federal Crimes for Stealing From Dodgers’ Shohei Ohtani: Report

Ippei Mizuhara to Plead Guilty to Federal Crimes for Stealing From Dodgers’ Shohei Ohtani: Report

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Ippei Mizuhara, the longtime interpreter for Shohei Ohtani who was fired after confessing to stealing more than $4.5 million from the Dodgers’ star, is in negotiations to plead guilty to federal crimes in connection with the alleged theft, according to the New York Times.

Among the key details in the report:

Those briefed on the matter claim that prosecutors have uncovered evidence that Mizuhara may have stolen more money from Ohtani than the $4.5 million he was initially accused of pilfering.Authorities think they have evidence that Mizuhara was able to change the settings on Ohtani’s bank account so Ohtani would not receive alerts and confirmations about transactions.According to one of the people briefed on the investigation, the federal authorities interviewed Ohtani in recent weeks to learn more about his relationship with Mizuhara.The investigation has been jointly led by the Los Angeles offices of the Internal Revenue Service’s criminal division and the Department of Homeland Security, along with the U.S. attorney’s office for the Central District of California.

Details in the case against Mizuhara have been slow to emerge since the initial reports out of South Korea, where he reportedly confessed to theft after the Dodgers’ season-opening victory over the San Diego Padres. The Dodgers fired Mizuhara after that game.

The Times reported that Mizuhara has since returned to the United States and hired an attorney, former federal prosecutor Michael Freedman.

Still unknown are the severity of the crimes, the exact amount of money Mizuhara stole from Ohtani, and when Mizuhara might appear in court.

Ohtani publicly accused Mizuhara of theft at a press conference at Dodger Stadium two weeks ago:

“I never bet on baseball or any other sports, or never asked somebody to do that on my behalf,” Ohtani said at the time. “And I have never gone through a bookmaker to bet on sports,” Ohtani said. “Up until a couple days ago, I didn’t know that this was happening. Just to go over the result, in conclusion, Ippei has been stealing money from my account and has told lies.”

Will Ireton, who has filled a variety of roles on the Dodgers’ staff over the last eight years, took over interpreting duties for Mizuhara.

Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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