MLB's Shohei Ohtani, Interpreter's Gambling Scandal to Be Featured in Upcoming TV Series

Written by:
Dan Shapiro
Published on:
May/09/2024

Talk about not wasting any time. 

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Lionsgate Television announced on Thursday it is in the process of developing a scripted series about the gambling scandal currently plaguing Major League Baseball that will be produced by Scott Delman and Albert Chen.

The former interpreter for Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani, Ippei Mizuhara, plead guilty Wednesday to bank and tax fraud in a sports betting case in which prosecutors allege he stole nearly $17 million from the Japanese baseball player to pay off gambling debts to a California-based illegal bookie.

The plea agreement says Mizuhara will be required to pay Ohtani restitution that could total nearly $17 million, as well as more than $1 million to the IRS. Those amounts could change prior to sentencing.

Mizuhara will enter his guilty plea in the coming weeks and is set to be arraigned May 14, prosecutors said.

“The extent of this defendant’s deception and theft is massive,” United States Attorney Martin Estrada said in a statement. “He took advantage of his position of trust to take advantage of Mr. Ohtani and fuel a dangerous gambling habit.”

"This is major league baseball's biggest sports gambling scandal since Pete Rose—and at its center is its biggest star, one that MLB has hitched its wagon on," Chen said in the release.  He previously served as Senior Editor for Sports Illustrated.  "We'll get to the heart of the story—a story of trust, betrayal and the trappings of wealth and fame."

No word yet on when and where the yet-to-be-named series will air. 

Ohtani, for his part, insists he was unaware of the theft or any illegal betting activity.

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