Shohei Ohtani’s Interpreter Dismissed Over Allegations of ‘Extensive Theft’

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Los Angeles Dodgers’ star Shohei Ohtani’s longtime interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, has been dismissed following allegations of “extensive theft” linked to gambling, as reported by the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday.

Ohtani’s legal representatives have accused Mizuhara of embezzling millions of dollars and placing wagers with a bookmaker under federal scrutiny, according to reports from the Los Angeles Times and ESPN. Berk Brettler LLP, Ohtani’s law firm, informed CNN that they have uncovered substantial theft and are involving the authorities.

Confirming the termination, the Dodgers stated, “The Dodgers can confirm that interpreter Ippei Mizuhara has been terminated,” while acknowledging awareness of the media reports and gathering information on the matter.

Details regarding how the interpreter allegedly committed the theft remain unclear.

Mizuhara was present as Ohtani’s translator during the team’s recent season-opening victory against the San Diego Padres in Seoul, South Korea.

In an interview with ESPN, Mizuhara asserted his innocence, stating he never wagered on Major League Baseball games and denied any involvement by Ohtani. “I want everyone to know Shohei had zero involvement in betting. I want people to know I did not know this was illegal. I learned my lesson the hard way. I will never do sports betting ever again,” Mizuhara stated.

Attempts to reach out to Ohtani’s agent, Major League Baseball, the Dodgers, and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for comments have been made, with no immediate responses. CNN has also sought comment from Mizuhara.

Mizuhara previously collaborated with Ohtani from 2013 to 2017 with Japan’s Nippon-Ham Fighters, serving as an interpreter for non-Japanese speaking players. He continued as Ohtani’s interpreter during his rookie season with the Los Angeles Angels in 2018 after Ohtani requested his presence in Los Angeles. Ohtani, a two-time American League MVP, recently signed a groundbreaking 10-year, $700 million contract with the Dodgers during the offseason.

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