Shohei Ohtani’s interpreter fired amid accusations of ‘massive theft’

CNNThe longtime interpreter for Los Angeles Dodgers superstar Shohei Ohtani has been fired after being accused by Ohtani’s attorneys of “massive theft” that the attorneys allege is tied to gambling, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

Ohtani’s legal team accused former interpreter Ippei Mizuhara of stealing millions of dollars and placing bets with a bookmaker under federal investigation, according to the newspaper and ESPN. The details were first reported by the Los Angeles Times.

“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,” Ohtani’s law firm, Berk Brettler LLP, told CNN.

The Dodgers “can confirm that interpreter Ippei Mizuhara has been terminated,” the Dodgers said in a release.

The Dodgers also are “aware of media reports and are gathering information.” The team added it had no further comment.

Mizuhara translated for Ohtani in the team’s 5-2 win over the San Diego Padres in the MLB season-opening game in Seoul, South Korea, on Wednesday.

In an interview with ESPN on Tuesday, Mizuhara said that he never bet on Major League Baseball games and denied Ohtani had any involvement.

“I want everyone to know Shohei had zero involvement in betting,” Mizuhara said. “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.”

CNN has sought comment from Ohtani’s agent, Major League Baseball, the Dodgers and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, but did not immediately hear back. CNN has also sought comment from Mizuhara.

Mizuhara and Ohtani worked together from 2013 to 2017 at Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball League team Nippon-Ham Fighters, where Mizuhara worked as an interpreter for non-Japanese speaking players, according to After Ohtani asked Mizuhara to join him in Los Angeles, Mizuhara became Ohtani’s interpreter in his rookie season with his former team, the Los Angeles Angels, in 2018.

The 29-year-old two-time American League MVP signed a historic 10-year, $700 million deal with the Dodgers this past offseason.