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MLB Investigating Alleged Theft of Dodgers’ Shohei Ohtani by Ippei Mizuhara

Andrew Peters March 22, 2024 JUNG YEON-JE/AFP via Getty Images Major League Baseball is investigating interpreter Ippei Mizuhara’s alleged theft from Shohei Ohtani. “Major League Baseball has been gathering information since we learned about the allegations involving Shohei Ohtani and Ippei [Mizuhara] from the news media,” the league said in a statement. “Earlier today, our

MLB Investigating Alleged Theft of Dodgers’ Shohei Ohtani by Ippei Mizuhara

Andrew PetersMarch 22, 2024

Los Angeles Dodgers' Shohei Ohtani reacts after flying out in the 7th inning of the 2024 MLB Seoul Series baseball game 2 between Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on March 21, 2024. (Photo by Jung Yeon-je / AFP) (Photo by JUNG YEON-JE/AFP via Getty Images)

JUNG YEON-JE/AFP by way of Getty Photos

Main League Baseball is investigating interpreter Ippei Mizuhara’s alleged theft from Shohei Ohtani.

“Main League Baseball has been gathering info since we realized concerning the allegations involving Shohei Ohtani and Ippei [Mizuhara] from the information media,” the league stated in a statement. “Earlier right this moment, our Division of Investigations (DOI) started their formal course of investigating the matter.”

In keeping with T.J. Quinn of ESPN, MLB is predicted to request interviews from “all events,” together with Ohtani and Mizuhara. As Quinn famous, MLB won’t be capable of compel both to reply questions, nonetheless.

Mizuhara is now not an worker of an MLB crew, whereas Ohtani has protections underneath the MLBPA to refuse cooperation.

The investigation comes after the Dodgers fired Ohtani’s interpreter Wednesday following questions surrounding at the least $4.5 million in wire transfers despatched from Ohtani’s checking account to a bookmaking operation.

Per ESPN’s Tisha Thompson, the bookmaking operation is underneath federal investigation. Mizuhara, who has been Ohtani’s interpreter for his complete MLB profession, misplaced his job after reporters started asking questions concerning the wire transfers.

A spokesperson for Ohtani initially informed ESPN that the wire transfers had been made to cowl Mizuhara’s playing debt. Ohtani’s spokesperson later walked again the feedback and stated Ohtani’s attorneys would concern a press release.

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That assertion from Berk Brettler LLP stated that Ohtani “has been the sufferer of large theft.”

“In the midst of responding to latest media inquiries, we found that Shohei has been the sufferer of an enormous theft, and we’re turning the matter over to the authorities,” the assertion learn.

A federal investigation right into a playing operation run by Southern California bookmaker Matthew Bowyer uncovered the wire transfers. In keeping with Thompson, sources near the playing operation stated that Bowyer dealt straight with Mizuhara. The sources stated that since 2021, he has guess on worldwide soccer matches and different sports activities, however not baseball.

In an interview on Tuesday, Mizuhara informed ESPN that he requested Ohtani to repay his $4.5 million playing debt. In that interview, Mizuhara stated he positioned bets on DraftKings and assumed the bets positioned by Bowyer’s operation had been authorized.

On Wednesday, Mizuhara informed ESPN that Ohtani didn’t make the wire transfers and didn’t know concerning the playing debt.

Amid the investigation, Ohtani is starting his first marketing campaign with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The 2-time AL MVP, who had 151 hits, 44 house runs and 95 RBI in 2023, has performed in two regular-season video games in 2024, going 3-for-10.

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