Ohtani’s Former Interpreter Admits To Stealing Massive Amount Of Money From Him: REPORT

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Ippei Mizuhara, the former translator for Los Angeles Dodgers superstar Shohei Ohtani, pleaded guilty to bank and tax fraud Tuesday, admitting to stealing almost $17 million from him, The Associated Press (AP) reported. 

I worked for victim A [Ohtani] and had access to his bank account and had fallen into major gambling debt,” he told a court during a hearing in Santa Ana, California, according to The AP. “I went ahead and wired money … with his bank account.”

The former interpreter pleaded guilty to one count of subscribing to a false tax return and another count of bank fraud. The bank fraud charge carries a penalty of up to 30 years in prison, while the tax charge carries up to three years, The AP reported. (RELATED: ‘I Wish I Had An Interpreter’: MLB’s Banned-For-Life All-Time Hits Leader Weighs In On Ohtani Betting Scandal)

He is also required to pay Ohtani nearly $17 million in restitution and more than $1 million to the IRS, The AP reported.

Mizuhara surrendered himself to authorities in April after the U.S. Department of Justice filed a federal complaint alleging the fraud crimes. The news of his gambling debt and alleged theft rocked the sports world when ESPN first broke the story in March.

The Dodgers promptly fired Mizuhara, ending his seven year tenure as Ohtani’s interpreter, a job that earned him between $300,000 and $500,000 a year, he told ESPN. Still, despite his lucrative salary, the former translator still managed to dig himself into a $41 million hole, losing over $183 million in gambling losses versus just $142 million in winnings, according to court filings.