The IRS is looking into Shohei OhtaniThe IRS is looking into Shohei Ohtani’s interpreter Ippei Mizuhara after his alledged gambling indiscretions

Last Wednesday, the Dodgers terminated Shohei Ohtani’s interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, after some shocking allegations came to light. Now, one of the most powerful organization in the United States is getting involved.

News originally broke that funds of $4.5 million had been transferred from an account belonging to Shohei Ohtani to a California bookmaker. Initially, it was claimed that the reigning AL MVP had made those payments to recover gambling losses incurred by Mizuhara, despite the fact that gambling is mostly illegal in California.

“Miscommunication reportedly led to confusion early within the Ippei Mizuhara, Shohei Ohtani situation according to ESPN. Ohtani did not fully understand the matter until Wednesday’s clubhouse meeting” – Dodgers Nation
Though Ohtani originally claimed that he wilfully made the payments, the Los Angeles Dodgers star’s legal team soon changed their tune. Subsequently, Ohtani’s legal team released a statement, claiming that their client had been the victim of “massive theft.”

Things got much worse for Mizuhara, 39, on Thursday, when the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that they would be opening an investigation into Ohtani’s longtime friend. Implicated in the case is an individual by the name of Matthew Bowyer, who appears to have helped Ippei Mizuhara in circumventing California gambling restrictions.

“Shohei Ohtani camp pushes for investigation into alleged ‘massive theft’ as IRS probes interpreter” – New York Post
While Ippei Mizuhara seems to indeed have done something sketchy, some pundits do not buy that Shohei Ohtani is not at all to blame. Some analysts have claimed that despite his superstar status, Ohtani could face strict penalties if it is discovered that he was the one who placed the bets in question. Most fans will remember former Cincinnati Reds great Pete Rose, who was handed a lifetime ban from MLB on account of his gambling habits.

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As confusing as the known facts are, there is still much to be discovered. After meeting with Mizuhara upon his termination, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was tight-lipped, with the Washington Post quoting him as saying:
“Anything with that, the meeting, I can’t comment, I’m sorry.
With Ohtani and the Dodgers preparing to square off the St. Louis Cardinals in their first game since arriving back from South Korea, the focus should be on baseball. As for whatever disciplinary actions are to be deployed, more time is needed to determine that.