MLB Starts Investigation Into Shohei Ohtani Interpreter for Theft


Major League Investigation

“Major League Baseball has been gathering information since we learned about the allegations involving Shohei Ohtani and Ippei (Mizuhara) from the news media,” read a statement from the league

Major League Baseball has opened an investigation into illegal gambling and theft allegations regarding Los Angeles Dodgers megastar Shoei Ohtani’s longtime interpreter Ippei Mizuhara.

In a statement Friday, the league commissioner’s office shared that they’ve started the process to investigate the matter after lawyers for Ohtani accused the Dodgers star’s longtime interpreter of stealing millions of dollars from the athlete to cover bets with an alleged illegal bookmaker. 

“Major League Baseball has been gathering information since we learned about the allegations involving Shohei Ohtani and Ippei (Mizuhara) from the news media,” the commissioner’s office said in a statement, per the Associated Press. “Earlier today, our Department of Investigations began their formal process investigating the matter.”

Mizuhara, a close friend and interpreter for Ohtani, was accused of “massive theft” and using the athlete’s funds to cover bets with an allegedly illegal bookmaker. In a statement to The Athletic on Wednesday evening, the Dodgers confirmed that Mizuhara had been fired. (Rolling Stone has a complete breakdown of the scandal.)

“In the course of responding to recent media inquiries, we discovered that Shohei has been the victim of a massive theft and we are turning the matter over to the authorities,” law firm Berk Brettler LLP said in a statement earlier this week.

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The IRS confirmed Thursday that Mizuhara and Mathew Bowyer, the illegal bookmaker, are under criminal investigation through the agency’s Los Angeles Field Office, according to the AP. Bowyer allegedly dealt directly with Mizuhara, who placed bets on soccer matches and other sports — except for baseball — beginning in 2021, sources told ESPN. Payments were wired from Ohtani’s account to an associate of Bowyer’s, per sources and bank data reviewed by the outlet.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the probe into Bowyer involves the same prosecution team investigating a multimillion-dollar illegal sports gambling scheme surrounding a bookmaking operation led by former minor league baseball player Wayne Nix of Newport Beach.



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