Dodgers Rumors: Shohei Ohtani ‘Completely Cleared’ In Federal Investigation, Ippei Mizuhara To Be Charged

Shohei Ohtani

Matt Krohn/USA TODAY Sports

Shohei Ohtani presented the most significant signing in MLB history and arguably sports history, for the Los Angeles Dodgers, but the start of his tenure was filled with some controversy.

Ippei Mizuhara, Ohtani’s former interpreter, was fired by the Dodgers for allegedly stealing millions of dollars from Ohtani to pay off gambling debts. Ohtani said he was completely unaware and that Mizuhara was continuously lying to him.

However, the story changed multiple times when reports initially surfaced, which caused questions about how much Ohtani knew and whether he was involved with either the gambling or knowingly transferring money to a Southern California bookmaker on Mizuhara’s behalf.

MLB and federal law enforcement launched separate investigations into the situation, and according to TMZ, officials determined Ohtani’s story is accurate:

Our sources say the feds, who launched an investigation last month, have concluded Mizuhara was lying — that Ohtani was completely in the dark over the gambling debt, and Mizuhara embezzled from one of Ohtani’s accounts without the pitcher’s knowledge.

The change in stories appears to be due to Mizuhara acting as the link between Ohtani, his legal team, and for an interview with ESPN, which was first to break the story.

Ohtani said he would be willing to assist law enforcement during their investigation, and while he was unable to answer some key questions surrounding the story to the public, he seems to be clear on all accounts:

Our sources say the feds have concluded Ohtani was not involved in any wrongdoing and has never had any association with gambling or bookmaking.

With Ohtani cleared, Mizuhara is expected to be charged within the next few days:

Law enforcement sources tell us Mizuhara will be charged any day now, and Ohtani is completely cleared of any involvement.

In his public statement, Ohtani denied betting on baseball, or any sport, claimed Mizuhara was lying to him, and said he only recently found out about Mizuhara’s gambling addiction recently.

TMZ’s reporting was also confirmed by the New York Times, saying Mizuhara is expected to plea guilty before a federal judge.

Rob Manfred hoped for short Shohei Ohtani investigation

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred launched MLB’s investigation, but hoped it would be cleared up quickly.

Illegal gambling is prohibited by MLB and punishable by a fine, while betting on baseball ranges from a one-year to permament suspension.

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