Shohei Ohtani’s interpreter allegedly stole millions of Dodgers star’s money

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Lawyers for the Dodgers’ Shohei Ohtani have accused his interpreter of “large-scale theft” of the superstar’s money for placing bets with an illegal bookmaker.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the alleged theft by interpreter Ippei Mizuhara totaled “in the millions of dollars”.

Ohtani’s lawyers made the claims to the outlet after it was revealed that the star’s name had come up during an investigation into alleged illegal bookmaker Matthew Boyer, who lives in Orange County, California.

Los Angeles Dodgers designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, right, talks to his interpreter Ippei Mizuhara during the fifth inning of the Dodgers’ Opening Day game against the Padres on March 20, 2024 in Seoul, South Korea. AP

After the outlet reached out to Ohtani, who was in Seoul, Korea for the season-opening series against the Padres, his representatives took notice of Mizuhara’s activities.

“While responding to recent media inquiries, we learned that Shohei was the victim of a grand larceny and we are turning the matter over to the authorities,” West Hollywood law firm Burke Brettler told The Post in a statement.

Mizuhara, who allegedly placed bets with an associate of Bowyer’s, was fired by the Dodgers, the team confirmed Wednesday.

Shohei Ohtani talks with his interpreter Ippei Mizuhara at the start of spring training. AP

“The Dodgers are aware of the media reports and are gathering information,” the team said in a statement. “The team can confirm that interpreter Ippei Mizuhara has been removed. The team has no further comment at this time.”

After the Times published its story, things became a little more suspicious with a report from ESPN.

A spokesperson for Ohtani told the outlet that the superstar had transferred $4.5 million to Bowyer to cover Mizuhara’s debt and told Mizuhara in detail what happened.

However, the story took a turn when Ohtani’s spokesperson “denied” what Mizuhara said, and Ohtani’s lawyers sent the same statement to ESPN that was sent to the Times.

The ESPN report emphasized that Ohtani does not gamble and that Mizuhara’s bets were placed on sports such as international soccer, not baseball.

Shohei Ohtani after the Dodgers’ win over the Padres on March 20, 2024 in Seoul. reuters

“Mr. Bauer has never met or spoken to Shohei Ohtani,” Bauer’s attorney, Dianne Bass, told ESPN, declining further questions.

“Obviously, he [Ohtani] I was not happy with it and he said he would help me make sure I never do it again,” Mizuhara said in a statement to ESPN. “He decided to pay it forward for me.”

“I want everyone to know that Shohei had no involvement in the betting. I want people to know that I had no idea it was illegal. I learned my lesson the hard way. I will never bet on sports again.”

Mizuhara later changed his story and said that Ohtani had no knowledge of his bet and did not initiate the transfer.

According to The Athletic, MLB has not been contacted by federal prosecutors on the situation.

Dodgers designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, left, and his translator Ippei Mizuhara, right, address the media. AP

Ohtani signed a blockbuster 10-year, $700 million contract with the Dodgers last offseason, though $680 million of it is deferred until the end of the deal.

He played his first six MLB seasons with the Angels, and won two American League MVP awards as the best two-way player since Babe Ruth.

Mizuhara, who has a relationship with the superstar since both were with the Nippon-Ham Fighters from 2013-17, was also Ohtani’s interpreter with the Angels.

The Dodgers’ Shohei Ohtani, center, with interpreter Ippei Mizuhara, left, raises his hands while talking to a trainer during a spring training baseball workout. AP

Ohtani will not be pitching this season as he recovers from elbow surgery, but he is expected to return to the mound in future years.

Before the start of this season, Ohtani revealed that he is married to Japanese basketball player Mamiko Tanaka.

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