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Shohei Ohtani Now Linked To Odd Ippei Mizuhara Gambling Scandal

Shohei Ohtani Now Linked To Odd Ippei Mizuhara Gambling Scandal

Shohei Ohtani’s longtime interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, was fired by the Los Angeles Dodgers this week in connection with a bizarre gambling scandal.

On Wednesday, L.A. made the decision to part ways with Mizuhara after he was connected to at least $4.5 million worth of wire transfers sent from Ohtani’s bank account to a bookmaking operation.

According to ESPN, Ohtani initially claimed responsibility for the funds transfer.

“Initially, a spokesman for Ohtani told ESPN the slugger had transferred the funds to cover Mizuhara’s gambling debt,” the report noted.

“The spokesman presented Mizuhara to ESPN for a 90-minute interview Tuesday night, during which Mizuhara laid out his account in great detail. However, as ESPN prepared to publish the story Wednesday, the spokesman disavowed Mizuhara’s account and said Ohtani’s lawyers would issue a statement.”

Somewhere along the way, that “transfer” turned into “theft.”

“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,” a statement from Berk Brettler LLP to ESPN read.

The story only gets weirder from there.

“The developments this week came as federal investigators are examining the operation run by Southern California bookmaker Mathew Bowyer,” the report from ESPN noted.

“The wire-transfer payments were sent from Ohtani’s account to an associate of Bowyer’s, according to multiple sources and bank data reviewed by ESPN. … ESPN had reviewed bank information showing Ohtani’s name on two $500,000 payments sent last September and October.”

Understandably, people on social media drew their own conclusions on what transpired here.

Big picture, this scandal only started erupting midday Wednesday.

There is a lot more left to come out.

It will be interesting to see what the truth ultimately ends up being.

Will either Ohtani or Mizuhara ultimately opt to clarify what precisely transpired here? Time will tell.

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Anthony Amador

A graduate from the University of Texas, Anthony Amador has been credentialed to cover the Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and high school games all over the Lone Star State. Currently, his primary beats are the NBA, MLB, NFL and UFC.
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