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  • Isabella Beltran

Shohei Ohtani Gambling Scandal

As many Baseball fans know, Ippei Mizuhara has been two-way superstar, Shohei Ohtan’s interpreter for quite some time ever since signing with The Los Angeles Angels. The two were pretty much attached by hip since they spend everyday together for 162 days and plenty more during the off-season. 

Nobody saw this scandal coming for that reason. To sum it all up, Mizuhara was accused by Ohtani’s attorneys of engaging in a massive theft of Ohtani’s funds to place bets with an illegal bookmaker.

Once the news broke out, many immediately believed Ohtani was the one gambling, and Mizuhara was taking blame to protect Ohtani’s baseball career and  image. However, there are many questions forming around these allegations, which make that claim not seem like a stretch. Some even think MLB is covering up what really happened since Ohtani brings them so much money.

Mizuhara managed to rack up over 4 million dollars in gambling debt with an illegal sports bookie in California, and Ohtani transferred the money to cover the losses. Which turned out to be a misunderstanding on Ohtani’s end, since to him he was just helping a close friend out with paying off his debt.

Ippei had said himself that he betted on Soccer, NBA,  NFL, and College Basketball but never did with Baseball.

However, many fans believe Ohtani was the one doing the sports betting. SInce he has been seen at many sporting events. If you think about it though, who would have more free time to watch sports and understand small details well enough to bet on it? Ippei would have that advantage compared to the busy lifestyle many can only understand Ohtani has. I mean after all, Ippei is just the interpreter.

This all took place during the long awaited Seoul Series, where The San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers competed in a two game series that counted toward the regular season. To some people's surprise, Ohtani was still in the lineup and played for those two games like nothing had happened. Gathering a few hits and recording his first hit as a dodger.

Ohtani let it be known that he was not addressing the allegations or answering any questions until he wanted to. Until March 25th, he finally spoke up to the media on what had been going on and made it very clear that he did not know any of this had been going on. 

"Ippei has been stealing money from my account and has told lies." "I never bet on baseball or any other sports, or never have asked somebody to do it on my behalf. I have never went through a bookmaker to bet on sports."

“I never agreed to pay off the debt or make payments to the Bookmaker.” Said Ohtani.

Later on, more news broke out saying Ippei has been lying about far more than what we all imagined.

For many years, The Los Angeles Angels stated that Mizuhara had graduated UC Riverside in 2007, and spent some time at spring training with The New York Yankees as an interpreter as well for a pitcher, Okajima. Also stated that Ippei got his first Major League Opportunity with The Red Sox  in 2010.

Later it was found out that the University came forward and said Ippei had never attended the school, or even graduated at that.

“Our university records do not show a student by the name of Ippei Mizuhara having attended UC Riverside”.

On April 11. 2024, Ippei was charged with bank fraud after being accused of transferring $16 Million from Shohei Ohtani's bank accounts to his own.

Ippei used the money "Largely to finance his voracious appetite for illegal sports gambling," said by US attorney Martin Estrada.

This story is developing and will be updated.

What is next for Ippei and Ohtani? 

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