Ohtani's Ex-Interpreter Appears in L.A. Court over Fraud


Los Angeles, May 14 (Jiji Press)--Ippei Mizuhara, a former interpreter for Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani, appeared at a Los Angeles federal court Tuesday, pleading not guilty to bank and tax fraud as a formality.

Mizuhara will switch to a guilty plea at a later date, his lawyer told the court.

Mizuhara, 39, was charged with bank fraud and creating a false tax document in a sports betting case.

The Justice Department last week said that a plea deal had been reached in which Mizuhara would plead guilty in exchange for the federal prosecutors demanding a lighter sentence.

The two charges together carry a statutory sentence of up to 33 years in prison, but the deal is expected to significantly reduce the sentence.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press