Federal authorities confirmed on Wednesday that Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani was a victim of fraud after his interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, stole $4.5 million from him to pay off gambling debts. Mizuhara will face federal charges and is seeking a path to enter a guilty plea.

On March 19, Mizuhara went on ESPN with the Dodgers’ blessing to claim that he had incurred severe gambling debts with California bookie Matthew Bowyer. According to Mizuhara, Ohtani had offered to pay the debts. The following day, however, Ohtani’s lawyers presented a different version of events, claiming that he was a victim of “massive theft.”

The rapid succession of conflicting claims led to widespread speculation, with many fans accusing Ohtani of gambling the money himself. In many of these theories, Mizuhara was merely taking the blame for the gambling, which is illegal in California and frowned upon by MLB. The league deferred to a federal investigation into the incident.

In the following days, all sides went silent until Ohtani eventually agreed to a press conference on March 25.

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“I never bet on baseball or any other sports or never have asked somebody to do it on my behalf and I have never gone through a bookmaker to bet on sports,” Ohtani said.

A guilty plea for Mizuhara could reportedly lead to a more lenient sentence as the case develops. It is also likely that Ohtani will be cleared of any wrongdoing, including illegal gambling. Details from the federal investigation are still unclear, but it’s possible that Mizuhara stole more than the original $4.5 million. Multiple reports claim that he stole money from Ohtani by changing notification settings in the player’s bank account.

Though the story broke before the regular season properly began, it did not appear to be a distraction for Ohtani. The reclusive star is batting .333 with three home runs in 11 games, and the Dodgers are 10-5 and currently sit atop the NL West division.

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