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

MLB Opens 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. Mizuhara was released from the team on Wednesday following reports from the Los Angeles Times and ESPN, which revealed his alleged connections to an illegal bookmaker. Ohtani’s attorneys have claimed that the Japanese two-way player was a victim of a “massive theft.”

MLB’s Department of Investigations began their formal process to probe the matter after gathering information since the news media first reported the allegations. The investigation was announced by the commissioner’s office on Friday, after Ohtani and the Dodgers returned to the United States from Seoul, South Korea, where they played their opening series against the San Diego Padres.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) confirmed that Mizuhara and Mathew Bowyer, the alleged illegal bookmaker, are currently under criminal investigation through the agency’s Los Angeles Field Office. However, no further details were provided by the IRS Criminal Investigation spokesperson, Scott Villiard.

Efforts to reach Mizuhara for comment have been unsuccessful, and it remains unclear if he has legal representation. Mizuhara 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 the suspension of three-time MVP Alex Rodriguez in 2014 for drug agreement violations and Trevor Bauer’s 194-game suspension in 2022 under MLB’s domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse policy. Bauer, a Dodgers pitcher, denied allegations of beating and sexually abusing a San Diego woman.

Ohtani, a prominent figure in baseball, is known for his exceptional skills both as a hitter and a pitcher. 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 in the Dodgers clubhouse after Thursday night’s game.

Author: CrimeDoor

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