Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB

Former Interpreter for Shohei Ohtani Pleads Guilty To Fraud Charges

The former interpreter for Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani has pleaded guilty to bank and tax fraud charges during a change-of-plea hearing in federal court. Each of the two counts involving Ippei Mizuhara carries a maximum of 33 years in prison.

As a result, MLB officials announced that its own investigation into the matter is now closed.

"Mizuhara, 39, wore a black suit with a white undershirt while standing alongside his attorney, Michael Freedman, in the 10th floor of the Ronald Reagan Federal Building and United States Courthouse," ESPN's Alden Gonzalez wrote. "U.S. district judge John W. Holcomb presided over the hearing."

Gonzalez admitted to Holcomb that he "worked for Victim A [Ohtani] and I had access to his bank account and I had fallen into major gambling debt, and the only way that I could think of was to use his money. I had access to Bank A. So I went ahead and wired money for my gambling debt with his bank account."

Ohtani also released a statement after the guilty plea.

"Now that the investigation has been completed, this full admission of guilt has brought important closure to me and my family," Ohtani said. "I want to sincerely thank the authorities for finishing their thorough and effective investigation so quickly and uncovering all of the evidence.

"This has been a uniquely challenging time, so I am especially grateful for my support team - my family, agent, agency, lawyers, and advisors along with the entire Dodger organization, who showed endless support throughout this process.

"It's time to close this chapter, move on and continue to focus on playing and winning ballgames."