Shohei Ohtani’s Former Interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, Under Criminal Investigation By IRS

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Amid the Los Angeles Dodgers’ trip to Seoul, South Korea, the focus was taken off the series and put onto Shohei Ohtani and his former interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, due to allegations of “massive theft” and gambling.

Mizuhara allegedly stole millions from Ohtani for illegal gambling activities, which led to the interpreter being fired and addressing the Dodgers’ clubhouse after Opening Day of the Seoul Series.

MLB launched their own investigation into the matter as sports betting is against league policy from “any player, umpire, or club or league official or employee.”

In addition to MLB’s investigation, Mizuhara is also under criminal investigation by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), according to Stephanie Wade, Tong-Hyung Kim and Stefanzie Dazio of the Associated Press:

The IRS confirmed Thursday that interpreter Ippei Mizuhara and Mathew Bowyer, the alleged illegal bookmaker, are under criminal investigation through the agency’s Los Angeles Field Office. IRS Criminal Investigation spokesperson Scott Villiard said he could not provide additional details.

At this moment, it does not appear Ohtani is part of the criminal investigation. According to the most recent reports, Ohtani was unaware of Mizuhara’s gambling debts, and the former interpreter has taken all responsibility for his actions.

Ohtani will also remain on the Dodgers active roster during MLB’s investigation. If it’s determined he was tied to the bets, there would likely be repercussions, but as of this moment, Ohtani appears to be a victim of the situation, rather than being part of the crimes.

To this point there has not been any indication Ohtani placed bets — legal or otherwise — on any sport, much less baseball.

Players previously found to have made illegal wagers on sports other than baseball are subject to punishment at the commissioner’s discretion.

MLB fined Miami Marlins’ Jarred Cosart in 2015 when they discovered he gambled illegally on sports other than baseball. Betting on baseball is punishable with a one-year ban.

Shohei Ohtani’s representatives contacted law enforcement over Ippei Mizuhara

Ohtani and his attorneys requested that authorities launch an investigation into Mizuhara following what they say is theft of millions of dollars.

Mizugara has made numerous claims to ESPN regarding what happened, but they contradict each other, most notably related to if Ohtani knew of the gambling or not.

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