Dodgers Fire Shohei Ohtani’s Interpreter Amid Theft & Illegal Gambling Allegations

Dodgers Fire Shohei Ohtani's Interpreter Amid Theft & Illegal Gambling Allegations

Japanese baseball superstar Shohei Ohtani’s interpreter and close friend, Ippei Mizuhara, has been fired by the Los Angeles Dodgers following allegations of “massive theft” from the player. The allegations are linked to illegal sports gambling.

The Dodgers confirmed Mizuhara’s termination in a statement but provided no further details. Ohtani’s attorneys stated that the player was the victim of substantial theft and that authorities are being notified.

Reports indicate that Mizuhara’s firing stemmed from questions about his alleged ties to illegal gambling. Sources claim wire transfers totaling at least $4.5 million from Ohtani’s account were sent to a Southern California bookmaking operation currently under federal investigation.

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Mizuhara initially claimed Ohtani was aware of his gambling debts and had knowingly transferred money to cover them. Ohtani’s representatives later disavowed this, leading to conflicting stories from Mizuhara about whether Ohtani was involved. Mizuhara admitted to betting on various sports but denied involvement in baseball betting, which is prohibited by MLB rules.

Mizuhara has worked with Ohtani since his MLB debut in 2018 and was present throughout Ohtani’s recent whirlwind week. This included a bomb threat at the Dodgers’ opening game in Seoul, Ohtani’s surprise marriage announcement, and his debut with the Dodgers after signing a record-breaking $700 million contract.

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Ohtani is expected to play as scheduled in the Dodgers’ second game in Seoul.

The incident occurs as sports gambling booms in the US, with many states legalizing it. However, California maintains a ban, and the MLB has strict penalties for players violating gambling policies. Betting on baseball can lead to a one-year suspension.

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