• Kyodo

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A younger brother of Texas Ranger pitcher Yu Darvish was convicted Tuesday of gambling on baseball games, with the Osaka District Court handing the 27-year-old business owner a suspended sentence.

Sho Darvish, of Habikino, Osaka Prefecture, was found guilty of taking bets on professional baseball games held in Japan and the United States last year using a messaging app, as well placing bets himself.

The court sentenced him to 28 months in prison, suspended for five years.

Regarding the suspended sentence, presiding Judge Hajime Hashimoto said Darvish’s gambling activities were limited to his circle of friends and that he had no links with organized crime.

His lawyers, who had sought a suspended sentence, asserted that taking bets through the messaging app deserved a lesser charge, but the ruling dismissed that argument.

The prosecutors had demanded that Darvish spend 30 months behind bars.

He was convicted of taking bets of ¥10,000 on pro Japanese and U.S. baseball games last year, accepting a total of roughly ¥110 million in wagers through the Line messaging app. He personally bet roughly ¥220 million on games, the court found.

U.S. media reported in January that Major League Baseball found no links between Yu Darvish and the then-alleged gambling activities of his brother. In a statement, Yu Darvish denied involvement with gambling at any time.

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