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Former interpreter for Shohei Ohtani pleads not guilty during arraignment

LOS ANGELES (NBC, KYMA/KECY) - The former interpreter for Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani pleaded not guilty to charges tied to a wide-ranging sports betting case.

Ippei Mizuhara's plea is mostly a formality as his lawyer said in court on Tuesday that they have reached a plea agreement which he intends to take.

Mizuhara is charged with bank fraud and subscribing to a false tax return. He's accused of stealing nearly $17 million dollars from Ohtani to pay off sports gambling debts.

During a years-long scheme, Mizuhara allegedly impersonated the LA Dodgers superstar to bankers and exploited their personal and professional relationship. Prosecutors say there is no evidence Ohtani was involved in or aware of Mizuhara's gambling.

The court is still working to schedule a date for Mizuhara to plead guilty to the charges against him.

As part of the plea deal, Mizuhara will be required to pay restitution that could total nearly $17 million.

Article Topic Follows: California News

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