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Shohei Ohtani's Former Interpreter And Best Friend Ippei Mizuhara Is Set To Face Federal Charges And Plead Guilty To The Theft Of Millions, While The Feds Have Found The Dodgers Superstar To Be Completely Innocent

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All had been quiet on the Ohtani front over the last few weeks as the feds conducted their investigation into his former best friend and interpreter's gambling scandal with a California bookie. 

There were two ways this was going to play out

1) Shohei was implicated in some way, either directly involved with the gambling, or knowingly paying off his buddy's debt. The ripple effect from that would have been colossal and historic.  

2) Shohei is found to be the most oblivious person in the world who didn't realize the guy he was with 24/7 was gambling and losing millions of dollars on sports betting. He also had no clue a large chunk of money was all of a sudden missing from his bank account. Ippei was also a true pathological liar who had full control over Ohtani's money (not totally uncommon with translators in Ohtani's situation) and was manipulating everything behind the scenes, even what the media+MLB were being told once the story broke. 

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Well, it seems scenario two is the winner. According to TMZ and the NY Times, Ippei will be charged any day now and plead guilty to federal charges while Ohtani has been cleared of any wrong doing. 

(TMZ) Shohei Ohtani had no idea his translator was gambling millions of dollars, and the feds have concluded not only was the Dodger star NOT involved in the scheme, he was a victim of fraud … law enforcement sources with direct knowledge tell TMZ Sports.

Our sources say the feds, who launched an investigation last month, have concluded Mizuhara was lying -- that Ohtani was completely in the dark over the gambling debt, and Mizuhara embezzled from one of Ohtani's accounts without the pitcher's knowledge.

Our sources say the feds have concluded Ohtani was not involved in any wrongdoing and has never had any association with gambling or bookmaking.

For those wondering how Ippei was able to move all this money without the bank interfering or Ohtani's knowledge, the feds believe there's evidence showing the interpreter changed the bank accounts settings to keep Shohei in the dark. 

(NY Times) Those briefed on the matter claim that prosecutors have uncovered evidence that Mizuhara may have stolen more money from Ohtani than the $4.5 million he was initially accused of pilfering, the people said. In particular, the authorities think they have evidence that Mizuhara was able to change the settings on Ohtani’s bank account so Ohtani would not receive alerts and confirmations about transactions, the three people said.

It's still pretty crazy that someone would allow Ippei to bet that much money considering he was just a translator. I guess if he continued to pay all of his debts without an issue then why question it, but that part is still fuzzy to me, along with the changing of stories and idea that Shohei truly knew nothing the whole time. We're really supposed to believe that the only person people immediately sought out for Ohtani's thoughts on the matter was the other guy involved in the story? 

Despite the conclusion here, there's still going to be plenty of skepticism as people dub Ippei the fall guy with how much was on the line. This whole situation was resolved pretty quickly considering how complex it all seemed. A few weeks and this is all over? Interesting to say the least. Nevertheless, Shohei will walk away from this an innocent man and any notion that he was involved will be deemed tinfoil hat speculation. 

With the dominos falling this way, we now shift the attention to one of the bigger bag fumbles of all time. Ippei had life by the balls. He was attached at the hip to a generational athlete and making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, not to mention the lavish lifestyle he was living just simply by being with Shohei 24/7 (private jets, five star amenities, the best food, etc). All of that flushed away. It's very possible he ends up in prison now before being banned from America for good. This dude was universally loved up until a month ago. Now his name will live in infamy. There's also a scenario where a boat load of money pops up in his private offshore account one day as a thank you, but that we'll never know. 

You hear that? It's Rob Manfred and the Dodgers all letting out a huge sigh of relief. We all knew nothing was gonna happen here no matter what though, so is anyone really surprised?