Major League Baseball officially cleared Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani of any potential wrongdoing  on Tuesday afternoon, about an hour after Ohtani's former interpreter Ippei Mizuhara pleaded guilty to bank and tax fraud charges. Mizuhara has confessed to stealing nearly $17 million from Ohtani, money that he then used to place illegal sports bets and pay off gambling debts.

"Based on the thoroughness of the federal investigation that was made public, the information MLB collected, and the criminal proceeding being resolved without being contested, MLB considers Shohei Ohtani a victim of fraud and this matter has been closed," MLB said in a statement.

The Dodgers also issued the following statement: "With today's plea in the criminal proceedings against Ippei Mizuhara and the conclusion of both federal and MLB investigations, the Dodgers are pleased that Shohei and the team can put this entire matter behind them and move forward in pursuit of a World Series title."

Ohtani had only just made his Dodgers team debut on March 20 against the San Diego Padres as part of MLB's season-opening series in Seoul, South Korea when news broke that Mizuhara was involved in a federal gambling investigation. Mizuhara originally claimed that Ohtani knew about his gambling and had offered to pay off his debts before later changing his story. It was subsequently revealed that Ohtani had no knowledge of Mizuhara's gambling, and that Mizuhara had committed bank fraud and had stolen millions upon millions from Ohtani. (As CBS Sports explained back in March, it's not unusual for interpreters to take on additional roles for their players, including day-to-day tasks that require access to financial accounts.)

"Now that the investigation has been completed, this full admission of guilt has brought important closure to me and my family. I want to sincerely thank the authorities for finishing their thorough and effective investigation so quickly and uncovering all of the evidence," Ohtani said in a statement to CBS Sports Tuesday through his lawyer.

"This has been a uniquely challenging time, so I am especially grateful for my support team - my family, agent, agency, lawyers, and advisors along with the entire Dodger organization, who showed endless support throughout this process. It's time to close this chapter, move on and continue to focus on playing and winning ballgames."

In an odd twist of fate, Ohtani's vindication comes on the same day that MLB suspended two big-league players for unrelated gambling violations, including banning injured San Diego Padres infielder Tucupita Marcano for life after it was discovered that he had placed bets on games that he had a direct connection with