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Los Angeles Dodgers superstar Shohei Ohtani held a press conference where he expressed shock and disappointment over his former interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, who is embroiled in an alleged sports gambling scandal. Mizuhara was fired after being accused of stealing money from Ohtani’s account to place bets with a bookie. Ohtani denied involvement in any illegal betting activities and stated that he never used a bookmaker to place bets on sports. The scandal, first reported by The Los Angeles Times and ESPN, involves wire transfers from Ohtani’s account to a bookmaking operation under federal investigation.

Mizuhara had initially claimed that Ohtani knew about his gambling activities and had agreed to help pay off his debts. However, as media inquiries intensified, Mizuhara changed his story and admitted that Ohtani had no knowledge of his actions. He allegedly authorized the wire transfers without Ohtani’s consent. Ohtani stated that he learned about the situation during a team meeting in South Korea and described Mizuhara as a liar. Mizuhara has not responded to requests for comment, and Major League Baseball and the IRS are conducting investigations into the matter.

Ippei Mizuhara worked as an interpreter for Ohtani when he played for the Hokkaidō Nippon-Ham Fighters in Japan before joining the Los Angeles Angels in 2017. The allegations against Mizuhara involve wire transfers totaling at least $4.5 million, made in several payments to a bookmaking operation in Southern California. The operation is being investigated by federal authorities, although no charges have been filed against Matthew Bowyer, the alleged operator. Bowyer’s attorney stated that he has never had any contact with Ohtani.

Ohtani expressed his shock and sadness over the situation, stating that he trusted Mizuhara, who he accused of stealing money from his account and spreading lies. Ohtani maintained his innocence, denying any involvement in sports betting and reiterating that he never authorized payments to a bookmaker. The scandal has raised concerns within Major League Baseball and the IRS, prompting investigations into Mizuhara and Bowyer. Ohtani’s statements at the press conference highlighted his disappointment with Mizuhara’s alleged actions and his commitment to maintaining his integrity as a professional athlete.

The unfolding scandal involving Shohei Ohtani and his former interpreter has brought unwanted attention to the Los Angeles Dodgers star. Ohtani, known for his exceptional skills as a two-way player, found himself at the center of controversy due to Mizuhara’s alleged illegal activities. As investigations continue into the matter, Ohtani remains focused on his career and maintaining his reputation as a respected athlete. The scandal serves as a reminder of the potential pitfalls of trusting others, even those in close professional relationships. Ohtani’s public statements underscore the seriousness of the situation and his determination to clear his name.

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