Feds clear Shohei Ohtani’s name in illegal betting scandal of former interpreter

Feds clear Shohei Ohtani’s name in illegal betting scandal of former interpreterFeds clear Shohei Ohtani’s name in illegal betting scandal of former interpreter
via YouTube
Federal investigators have purportedly cleared Shohei Ohtani’s involvement in the alleged illegal betting scandal of his former interpreter Ippei Mizuhara, noting that the Los Angeles Dodgers star was also a victim.
Key points:
  • Unnamed law enforcement sources told TMZ that investigators concluded Mizuhara, 39, was lying, and that Ohtani, 29, was unaware of his former interpreter’s illegal activities. The sources added that the authorities concluded Ohtani was not involved in gambling or bookmaking and that he was a victim of fraud.
  • Meanwhile, three people familiar with the matter have informed the New York Times that Mizuhara is currently negotiating a plea deal with investigators.
Catching up:
  • Mizuhara was fired after being accused of “massive theft” while the Dodgers were in Seoul. The Los Angeles field office of the IRS’s criminal investigation division claimed that Mizuhara allegedly transferred $4.5 million from Ohtani’s accounts to another account linked to illegal bookmaker Mathew Bowyer.
  • Ohtani denied any involvement in the illegal activity while addressing the issue days after the scandal surfaced.
The details:
  • Speaking to the New York Times, people familiar with the matter claimed that prosecutors found evidence suggesting that Mizuhara may have stolen more than $4.5 million from Ohtani.
  • Prosecutors also believe they have evidence that Mizuhara may have changed Ohtani’s bank account settings to mute any transaction notifications, according to the sources.
  • The sources also revealed that law enforcement officials approached Mizuhara soon after he disembarked from the Dodgers’ plane in California from South Korea. He was not arrested at that time.
  • While it is unclear what charges Mizuhara is facing, negotiating and accepting a plea deal could reportedly result in a more lenient sentence.
  • The Los Angeles offices of the IRS’ criminal investigation division, in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. attorney’s office for the Central District of California, are still investigating the case. The MLB has also launched its own investigation on March 22.
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