After an investigation found that former Shohei Ohtani interpreter Ippei Mizuhara stole $16 million from his client, the Los Angeles Dodgers star finally addressed the matter and expressed his gratitude for the authorities in handling the matter.

Ohtani also shared his desire to just focus on baseball as the legal proceedings of the Mizuhara case continues. Ippei recently surrendered himself to LA police and has since been released on a $25,000 bond.

“I'm very grateful for the Department of Justice's investigation. For me personally, this marks a break from this, and I'd like to focus on baseball,” Ohtani said in Japanese on Friday, via LA Times.

Ohtani's saga with the Mizuhara gambling issue has been going on for about a month now. The news broke before Ohtani and the Dodgers played their first game of the 2024 regular season in South Korea last March, with Ippei being revealed to be using an illegal bookmaker to make bets on various sports. Ever since then, there have been plenty of rumors claiming that the Los Angeles superstar could be potentially involved in the sports gambling and was only using his interpreter to take the fall.

Following an investigation on the issue, however, Mizuhara was revealed to have stolen from Ohtani–supporting the Dodgers star's claim that he had no knowledge of Mizuhara using his bank account to do the wire transfers to the illegal bookmaker, and that he had never bet on sports through an illegal bookie. It has also been confirmed that Ohtani was not aware of the issue before he was informed about it prior to their South Korea showdown.

Mizuhara has been charged with bank fraud as a result of the theft.

Ippei Mizuhara arrest update

As reported earlier, Ippei Mizuhara surrendered to police on Friday and has been released after paying a bond. However, there are conditions to his release, including the fact that he can't contact Shohei Ohtani, per Yahoo Sports.

Furthermore, Mizuhara is not allowed to leave the central district of California without permission. He will also need to undergo a gamblers addiction program.

It is worth noting that Mizuhara did not enter a plea. He has an arraignment hearing scheduled on May 9.

For what it's worth, the bank fraud charge that Mizuhara has been hit with is a felony offense that could lead to up to 30 years in federal prison. He could also end up being fined $1 million. For now, though, everyone will have to wait and see what will happen to the former Ohtani interpreter as the legal process continues.

What's next for Shohei Ohtani?

As for Ohtani himself, while the issue is far from being closed, the results of the investigation will certainly help him and the Dodgers move past the scandal that rocked them and cast a massive shadow of doubt on their future.

Ohatni and the Dodgers can now focus on their season with less distraction. That is exactly what they need as they look to maintain their hold of the top spot in the National League West and the whole conference. As things currently stand, LA leads with a 10-5 record.

Next up for the Dodgers is a three-game series with the San Diego Padres that last until Sunday. After that, they play the Washington Nationals and New York Mets throughout the duration of the next week.