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Ippei Mizuhara faces prison sentence, must pay nearly $17 million to Shohei Ohtani in plea agreement

Ippei Mizuhara, the former interpreter for baseball superstar , pleaded guilty to two felony charges of bank fraud and filing a false tax return and was ordered to pay nearly $17 million in restitution to Ohtani, according to details of a plea agreement filed Wednesday.

Mizuhara, 39, faced up to 33 years in federal prison had his case gone to trial after federal agents alleged he stole millions of dollars from Ohtani and funneled them to an illegal bookmaker to cover his gambling debts. As part of Mizuhara鈥檚 agreement with the 91影视 Attorney鈥檚 Office, prosecutors will recommend a two-level reduction in Mizuhara鈥檚 prison term.

With the reduction and Mizuhara鈥檚 status as a first-time offender, the recommended prison sentence would range from seven to nine years, according to the Washington Post, although the agreement stipulates that prosecutors cannot guarantee the length of sentence once he goes before a judge for sentencing in the Central District of California.

Mizuhara also must pay a $1.15 million fine to the Internal Revenue Service, after he failed to report more than $4 million in income 鈥 ostensibly thieved from Ohtani 鈥 in tax year 2022 and then knowingly signed a false return.

Michael Freedman, Mizuhara鈥檚 attorney, declined comment Wednesday.

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The agreement also states that Mizuhara must forfeit all assets 鈥渄erived from or acquired as a result of鈥 illegal activity, including 鈥渃ollectible baseball cards and sports memorabilia.鈥 Prosecutors say Mizuhara purchased approximately $325,000 of baseball cards between January and March 2024, including valuable cards featuring Hall of Famer Yogi Berra, Yankees slugger Juan Soto and Ohtani.

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