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Former Los Angeles Dodgers interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, is expected to plead guilty to charges of bank fraud and filing false tax returns after being accused of embezzling millions of dollars to cover gambling debts. Mizuhara, who was also the interpreter for star player Shohei Ohtani, will reportedly enter the plea in the coming weeks and is set to be arraigned on May 14. U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada described Mizuhara’s actions as massive deception and theft, taking advantage of Ohtani’s trust to fuel his gambling habits. Federal authorities discovered that Mizuhara stole an estimated $17 million and will be required to pay full restitution to Ohtani as part of the plea agreement.

The complaint against Mizuhara was filed on April 11, and he turned himself in to law enforcement the following day. Estrada stated that Mizuhara had become Ohtani’s de facto manager, allowing him to access Ohtani’s account and use the funds for illegal sports betting. Reports indicate that Mizuhara was wiring payments to Ryan Boyajian, a cast member of Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Orange County,” who was identified as “Associate 1” in the complaint. Another individual named Matthew Bowyer, an alleged illegal bookmaker, is also under investigation. Mizuhara’s story about paying off a $4.5 million gambling debt on Ohtani’s behalf was denied by the player, who stated that he had never placed sports bets or used a bookmaker for such activities.

Ohtani publicly addressed the scandal in late March, expressing shock and sadness over Mizuhara’s actions and betrayal of trust. As the highest-paid player in Major League Baseball, Ohtani admitted to struggling to process his emotions upon learning of the scandal. He emphasized that he had never been involved in sports betting and had never asked anyone to place bets on his behalf, denying the accusations made against him by Mizuhara. A sentencing date for Mizuhara has not been determined yet, as the investigation continues to unfold. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California is committed to ensuring that victims like Ohtani receive justice and holding wrongdoers accountable for their actions.

Multiple sources corroborate the complex web of financial transactions involving Mizuhara, Boyajian, and Bowyer, shedding light on the extent of the fraudulent activities. Mizuhara’s role as Ohtani’s interpreter and manager gave him access to financial resources that he exploited for personal gain, betraying the trust placed in him by the star player. The story continues to evolve as new details emerge, and federal authorities work towards bringing about a resolution to the case. Ohtani’s statements regarding the scandal underscore the impact of Mizuhara’s actions on his reputation and emotional well-being, emphasizing the need for transparency and accountability in professional relationships within the sports industry. As the legal proceedings move forward, Mizuhara’s guilty plea is expected to shed further light on the motivations behind his deceitful behavior and the consequences of his actions on Ohtani and others involved.

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