Ohtani’s ex-interpreter must get gambling addiction treatment, judge says


INTERPRETER CAUGHT STEALING? — Then-Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani (L) with interpreter Ippei Mizuhara, who has since been fired by the Los Angeles Dodgers after allegations of theft. photo by Scott Nakajima Photography.

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani’s former longtime interpreter agreed April 12 to undergo court-ordered gambling addiction treatment after federal prosecutors accused him of stealing $16 million from the Japanese baseball player to pay off debts.

The initial federal court appearance by Ippei Mizuhara marked the first time the interpreter has been seen in public since the scandal exploded last month.

From the field at Dodger Stadium hours after the proceeding, Ohtani said he was “very grateful” for the investigation and would focus on baseball going forward.

Mizuhara exploited his personal and professional relationship with Ohtani to plunder millions from the two-way player’s account for years, at times impersonating Ohtani to bankers, prosecutors said. He faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted of one count of bank fraud.

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