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Q&A: What's next for Shohei Ohtani and MLB after charges against Ippei Mizuhara?

Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Baseball

On March 21, as the Dodgers returned from their season-opening series in South Korea, federal agents “intercepted Mizuhara at the Los Angeles International Airport … and seized the Mizuhara phone,” according to the complaint.

“Mizuhara subsequently signed a consent form consenting to the search of the Mizuhara phone,” the complaint read.

Did Ohtani cooperate with federal investigators?

“Fully and completely,” Estrada said.

In addition to allowing a search of his phone, Ohtani met with investigators on April 2 and 3, according to the complaint.

The Dodgers beat the San Francisco Giants on each of those nights; Ohtani played in both games and hit a home run in the second game.

 

Can Ohtani put it behind him now, at least as far as the criminal investigation goes?

Not necessarily. Officials said Thursday they expect Ohtani to “continue to cooperate,” which could be necessary as the criminal case proceeds. Mizuhara faces a maximum of 30 years in prison, although his cooperation in the investigation could significantly lighten a potential sentence in the event of a plea bargain. If the case proceeds to trial, Ohtani would be the star witness.

Didn’t Mizuhara say that Ohtani had agreed to cover his gambling losses?

He did, to ESPN. In an affidavit, IRS Special Agent Chris Seymour said, “I do not find Mizuhara’s statements to be credible.”

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©2024 Los Angeles Times. Visit at latimes.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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