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Mizuhara arraignment postponed to 14 May

| By Jill R. Dorson
On Wednesday (8 May) the US District Court for the Central District of California granted a request to posptone Ippei Mizuhara's arraignment to 14 May, according to court documents. The arraignment was originally scheduled for Thursday (9 May).
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US Attorney E Martin Estrada submitted the request. Mizuhara’s attorney, Michael Freedman, agreed to the postponement, and the court has now signed off as well.

Mizuhara was Los Angeles Dodgers’ star Shohei Ohtani’s interpreter until, on 20 March, he was accused of stealing $16 million to pay off gambling debts.

Mizuhara turned himself in on 12 April and faces charges of bank fraud. Federal investigators are considering Ohtani a “victim” and the two-way baseball player said that he had been duped.

MLB not investigating Ohtani

On Monday (6 May), Major League Baseball Commissioner Bob Manfred told reporters that the league would let the criminal investigation play out. USA Today reported that Manfred “doesn’t feel a lot of pressure” to move forward with its own investigation.

“Rarely are we fortunate enough to find ourselves in a position where a criminal process plays out in a way that cannot be the need for us to do the investigation,” he said.

“This could be one of those. Law enforcement officials have tools available at their disposal that are a lot more powerful that what we have.”

Mizuhara arraignment, Sibella sentencing set back to back

According to the Tuesday court filing, Mizuhara was charged with bank fraud on 11 April and he waived his right to a preliminary hearing. The government has until 13 May, 30 days after Mizuhara turned himself in, to indict him.

According to an affidavit filed by IRS criminal investigator Chris Seymour, Mizuhara placed more than 19,000 illegal sports bets between 2021 and 2024. The bets were placed with an illegal bookmaker in Orange County, California, who appears to be part of the Wayne Nix gambling ring. Sports betting is illegal in California.

Another person involved in the Nix gambling ring, Scott Sibella, is scheduled to be sentenced on Wednesday (8 May). The former Resorts World president pled guilty to failing to file suspicious activity notices while employed at MGM Grand. According to court documents, Sibella knowingly allowed Nix, a known illegal bookie, to gamble at MGM Grand and other properties.

Sibella faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The US Probationary Office is recommending up to one year probation, a fine of $9,500 and special assessment of $100.

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