MLB Launches Investigation into Illegal Gambling and Theft Allegations Involving Shohei Ohtani and Interpreter

MLB Launches Investigation into Illegal Gambling and Theft Allegations Involving Shohei Ohtani and Interpreter

Major League Baseball (MLB) has initiated a formal investigation into allegations of illegal gambling and theft involving Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani and his interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara. The investigation was launched after reports emerged from the Los Angeles Times and ESPN, revealing Mizuhara’s alleged connections to an illegal bookmaker and claims made by Ohtani’s attorneys regarding a significant theft.

MLB’s Department of Investigations began the formal process on Friday, following the league’s gathering of information since the news broke. The allegations surfaced while Ohtani and the Dodgers were in Seoul, South Korea, for their opening series against the San Diego Padres. The teams returned to the United States after Thursday night’s game, and MLB made a public statement announcing the investigation on Friday.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) confirmed that both Mizuhara and Mathew Bowyer, the alleged illegal bookmaker, are under criminal investigation through the agency’s Los Angeles Field Office. However, the IRS did not provide further details. Mizuhara, who was released from the team on Wednesday, has not been reachable for comment, and it remains unclear if he has legal representation. He was with the team in South Korea until his termination, and it is unknown if he has left the country.

MLB established its Department of Investigations in 2008 following the release of the Mitchell Report, which exposed the use of performance-enhancing drugs in the sport. The unit has previously investigated high-profile cases, including three-time MVP Alex Rodriguez and Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer. The investigation into Bauer resulted in a 194-game suspension in 2022 under MLB’s domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse policy. Bauer denied the accusations made by a San Diego woman.

Shohei Ohtani, a prominent figure in baseball, is known for his exceptional skills as a two-way player. He was a two-time AL MVP with the Los Angeles Angels before signing a record-breaking $700 million, 10-year contract with the Dodgers in December. Ohtani has not made any public statements regarding the allegations and did not address reporters after Thursday night’s game.

The Dodgers are scheduled to resume their regular season with their home opener next Thursday. Prior to that, the team has exhibition games planned against the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.

MLB strictly prohibits players and team employees from engaging in any form of wagering, including legal betting on baseball, as well as betting on other sports with illegal or offshore bookmakers. Mizuhara claimed to have placed bets on international soccer, the NBA, the NFL, and college football but denied betting on baseball. Violating MLB’s gambling policy can result in a one-year ban from the sport, while penalties for illegal betting on other sports are at the commissioner’s discretion.

Sports gambling is illegal in California, although it is legal in 38 states and the District of Columbia to some extent. ESPN reported that Mizuhara stated Ohtani had settled his gambling debts, which exceeded $1 million, at his request. However, after Ohtani’s attorneys released a statement claiming he was a victim of theft, Mizuhara changed his story and denied Ohtani’s involvement, stating that Ohtani had no knowledge of the gambling debts and had not transferred any money to bookmakers.

Author: CrimeDoor

1 Response

  1. It is indeed disheartening to hear about such allegations involving a talented player like Shohei Ohtani. However, it is important to remember that allegations are not proof of guilt, and everyone should be given the benefit of the doubt until the investigation is complete.

    In order to prevent such situations from arising in the future, MLB could consider implementing a mandatory education program for all players, coaches, and staff members regarding the dangers and consequences of illegal gambling. This program could provide comprehensive information about the potential

Leave a Reply

Share on:

[mailpoet_form id="1"]

Subscribe to Our Newsletter