Shohei Ohtani’s ex-interpreter pleads guilty to fraud charges

Shohei Ohtani's ex-interpreter pleads guilty to fraud charges

At a court north of Los Angeles on Tuesday, Shohei Ohtani’s former speaker admitted to duty and bank scams.

Ippei Mizuhara, 39, is accused of stealing nearly$ 17m ( £13.3m ) from Mr Ohtani- who plays for the Los Angeles Dodgers- during the years he was employed by the top athlete.

One of the biggest brands in modern sports is Mr. Ohtani. He signed a document 10- season,$ 700m deal with the Dodgers before the 2024 year, becoming a face of the company and Major League Baseball.

Mizuhara’s financial situation was disclosed by the prosecution as a result of allegations that he owes money to the football player.

The ex-interpreter entered a plea deal with the prosecution in exchange for a shorter word.

Football fans in Japan and America have been covering the situation since the allegations first surfaced in March.

Mizhuara reportedly claimed at the hearing on Tuesday that he had incurred significant playing loan. He claimed that using money he wired from Mr. Ohtani’s accounts was the only way out.

The ex-interpreter, according to the prosecution, called banks authorities and falsely identified himself as Mr. Ohtani” to key employees into allowing wire transfers from Mr. Ohtani’s bank accounts to associates of the illegal gambling procedure.”

He has also been accused of tax evasion.

” The amount of this defendant’s fraud and extortion is massive”, US Attorney Martin Estrada said next month when laying out the claims.

He “made use of his position of trust to exploit Mr. Ohtani and create a harmful playing practice.”

He could receive up to three years in prison for the tax fraud charge, and the bank scam cost is punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

Mizhuara entered a criminal plea.

A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for 25 October.

Mizhuara was fired in March after the claims became public. At the time, Mr Ohtani, 29, said he was” saddened and shocked” that someone he had trusted had “done this”.

Mizuhara had a close relationship with the football star since he started playing in the US in 2018 and is now a two-time American League MVP success.

Mr Ohtani, who does not talk English, has relied heavily on his speaker, from aid with media interviews to bank and working with his financial counselors.