Former interpreter for Ohtani ordered to undergo gambling addiction treatment in sports betting case

A federal judge in Los Angeles has ordered Ippei Mizuhara, the former interpreter for Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani, to undergo treatment for gambling addiction. Mizuhara is accused of exploiting his personal and professional relationship with Ohtani to steal money from the player’s bank account over several years. Prosecutors allege that Mizuhara impersonated Ohtani to bankers in order to access and withdraw large sums of money to cover his gambling losses and debts. Mizuhara turned himself in ahead of his court appearance and is facing one count of bank fraud, with a possible sentence of up to 30 years in prison if convicted. While there is no evidence that Ohtani was involved in the gambling scheme, authorities have stated that the player is cooperating with the investigation.

During his court appearance, Mizuhara did not enter a plea. A criminal complaint filed on Thursday provided details of the alleged fraudulent activities, including text messages, financial records, and recorded phone calls. Mizuhara allegedly deposited over $142 million from winning bets into his own account while losing bets amounted to around $183 million, resulting in a net loss of almost $41 million. In a message to his bookmaker, Mizuhara admitted to stealing from Ohtani and expressed regret over the situation. In response to the controversy, Major League Baseball launched its own investigation and the Dodgers promptly terminated Mizuhara from his position as an interpreter.

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