Shohei Ohtani's Interpreter Accused of Major Theft, Lawyers Allege

Baseball's Rising Star Faces Unexpected Financial Turmoil.

by Nouman Rasool
Shohei Ohtani's Interpreter Accused of Major Theft, Lawyers Allege
© Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

In a startling revelation that has sent shockwaves through Major League Baseball, Los Angeles Dodgers' sensation Shohei Ohtani finds himself entangled in a scandal involving millions of dollars siphoned from his account. The accused, none other than Ohtani's own interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, has been dismissed from his duties following allegations of diverting a staggering $4.5 million to finance illicit gambling activities.

This controversial turn of events emerged from investigative reports by esteemed publications, the Los Angeles Times and ESPN. At the heart of the matter is a series of wire transfers directed to Mathew Bowyer, an individual from Orange County currently under federal scrutiny for operating a clandestine bookmaking enterprise.

In a twist that reads like a crime thriller, Mizuhara purportedly confessed in an ESPN interview that the Japanese superstar aided in clearing a monumental gambling debt. These revelations came to light despite Ohtani's camp facilitating the dialogue between Mizuhara and ESPN.

However, in a swift change of stance, Ohtani's representatives vehemently refuted Mizuhara's assertions the following day.

Ohtani's Legal Shocker

Further complicating the narrative, Ohtani's legal team, represented by the prestigious Berk Brettler firm, issued a compelling statement to the media, declaring, "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 communication stopped short of explicitly naming Mizuhara but the implications were clear.

Adding to the intrigue, the Dodgers organization confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that Mizuhara's employment had been terminated in the wake of these allegations. The scandal unfolds just months after Ohtani inked an unprecedented $700 million, decade-long contract with the Dodgers, marking a historic transition from his six-year tenure with the Los Angeles Angels.

Mizuhara, who has been by Ohtani's side since their days with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters in Japan back in 2013, followed the athlete to the U.S. in 2018. His journey from a trusted confidant to the center of a federal investigation underscores a dramatic fall from grace, shaking the foundations of trust within the sports world.