Ohtani's ex-interpreter released on $25,000 bond

STORY: The former interpreter for Japanese baseball star Shohei Ohtani made his first appearance in court Friday on a bank fraud charge accusing him of stealing $16 million from the LA Dodger to cover illegal gambling debts.

Ippei Mizuhara, who was initially wearing ankle shackles, was released on bond of $25,000 and apologized through a lawyer at the court hearing.

He did not enter a plea during a 25-minute proceeding before a judge in downtown Los Angeles, who ordered him to return for an arraignment on May 9.

The hearing came a day after prosecutors charged the ex-interpreter and publicly exonerated Ohtani.

"Mr. Mizuhara stole over $16 million from Mr. Ohtani's account in order to pay for these illegal sports bets. Phone and bank records show that Mr. Mizuhara appears to have accessed Mr. Ohtani's bank account online. What is more, Mr. Mizuhara lied to the bank to access the account."

Federal prosecutors stressed that there was no evidence suggesting Ohtani, who signed a record $700 million, 10-year contract with the Dodgers, was anything but a victim in the case.