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Dodgers Player Shohei Ohtani Victim Of 'Massive Theft' By Interpreter, Lawyers Claim

Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani’s interpreter has been fired amid accusations he stole millions from the baseball player to place bets with an illegal gambling operation.

The claims came to light via Wednesday reports from the Los Angeles Times and ESPN. Lawyers responded to questions regarding $4.5 million in wire transfers from Ohtani’s accounts to Mathew Bowyer, an Orange County man being investigated by federal authorities for illegal bookmaking.

ESPN reports that Ohtani’s interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, initially spoke to the network for a Tuesday interview, in which he claimed the athlete helped him pay off his seven-figure gambling debt.

While Ohtani’s representatives initially arranged ESPN’s conversation with Mizuhara, on Wednesday they disputed his claims to the network.

Shohei Ohtani appears beside Ippei Mizuhara before a game against the Chicago White Sox on February 27, 2024. Mizuhara is being accused of a

In a statement to the press later that day, Ohtani’s attorneys at Berk Brettler said, “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.”

The statement did not specify if the claims were regarding Mizuhara.

That same Wednesday, a spokesperson for the Dodgers told the Los Angeles Times that Mizuhara had been fired.

In December, Ohtani signed a record-breaking $700 million, 10-year deal to come to the Dodgers after six seasons with the Los Angeles Angels.

Mizuhara and Ohtani first met in 2013, when they were working for a Japanese baseball team called the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters.

The interpreter was hired by the Angels after the team signed Ohtani in 2017, and he moved to the U.S. in 2018, according to a 2021 profile by Nippon.com.

Mizuhara also served as the interpreter for former Boston Red Sox player Hideki Okajima.

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