Dodgers superstar Shohei Ohtani kicked off the 2024 season — and his 10-year, $700 million contract — by going 2 for 5 against the Padres in the first regular-season game of the year, a 5-2 victory over the Padres in Seoul, South Korea. But before he and the team could even prepare for Game 2, a scandal had boiled up around the two-way player. Ohtani’s lawyers have accused his now-former interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, of stealing millions of dollars from him to cover illegal gambling debts.

Ohtani's interpreter is fired after allegations of 'massive theft' from  star - ABC News

“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,” a spokesperson for Berk Brettler law firm told CBS Sports.

MLB news 2024: Shohei Ohtani rocked as interpreter fired amid allegations  of 'massive theft', LA Dodgers news


Mizuhara has changed his story already, first telling ESPN that Ohtani had willingly given him the money, then saying a day later that Ohtani had been unaware of the payments. Mizuhara reportedly addressed the clubhouse about his gambling after the season opener in Seoul on Wednesday, just hours before he was fired by the Dodgers and Ohtani’s lawyers made the statement about “massive theft.” Mizuhara also told ESPN that he did not bet on baseball.

Shohei Ohtani's interpreter fired by Dodgers after allegations of 'massive  theft' from Japanese star | KFOR.com Oklahoma City

“The Dodgers are aware of media reports and are gathering information,” a team spokesperson said in a statement late Wednesday. “The team can confirm that interpreter Ippei Mizuhara has been terminated. The team has no further comment at this time.”

Nobody has alleged that Ohtani knew about Mizuhara making the bets before they happened or that he was gambling himself, but his apparent involvement, whether voluntary or not, has raised questions. CBS Sports spoke to a legal expert to try to answer some.