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Reports Say Ohtani Interpreter Ready to Cut a Deal

The strange, and sad, case of Ippei Mizuhara, the longtime friend and interpreter for Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani is expected to take another major turn this week. According to multiple sources, Mizuhara will be pleading guilty to a variety of bank fraud and illegal gambling charges as part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors. Under the terms of the deal,

Mizuhara will be undergoing treatment for his extreme case of gambling addiction. If he’s able to adhere to the terms of the plea, he should be able to avoid what could have been a 30-year prison sentence. That’s a pretty good deal for Mizuhara, who will allegedly stole $183 million from his friend Ohtani to feed his sports betting addiction. Over the course of a couple years, Mizuhara lost around $41 million of the pilfered cash. Ohtani, who recently signed a $700 million deal with the Dodgers, the richest in sports history, was unaware of the theft and is not accused of any misconduct surrounding the gambling.

In a statement reported on by the New York Times, Ohtani denied any wrongdoing saying, “I’ve never bet on baseball or any other sports or asked someone to do it on my behalf. I’ve never asked a bookmaker to do it on my behalf. Up until a few days ago, I didn’t know this was happening. In conclusion, Ippei has been stealing money from my account and has told lies.”

Ohtani’s luck with the legal system is a lot better than his luck with sports betting. He’ll be entering treatment for his gambling addiction instead of a few decades behind bars.