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Former MLB All-Star says Ohtani’s gambling controversy isn’t ‘adding up’

via CBS
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Shohei Ohtani claims his former interpreter Ippei Mizuhara stole money from his bank accounts to gamble without his knowledge.

Mizuhara originally said Ohtani helped pay off gambling debts, but later admitted lying to ESPN.

Some skepticism remains given the large amounts allegedly stolen without notice by Ohtani’s accountants.

Former MLB catcher AJ Pierzynski said the story is suspicious given the frequency, amounts, and close relationship between Ohtani and Mizuhara.

“First of all, I want to give the benefit of the doubt to Shohei, because he’s an incredible talent. But . . . I just don’t know how you can have multiple large deposits taken out of your account,” former MLB catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. “I know Shohei probably wasn’t watching it every day, but he’s got people that watch that stuff. You don’t think there was an accountant that would’ve noticed, ‘Hey, by the way, you’ve had nine $500,000 deposits go out? Nine of them?’ One, maybe you’re like, ‘OK, we missed something.’ But nine of them for $4.5 million? That’s where it gets a little weird to me.”

“I know plenty of guys that have gotten money taken from them, because they give access to things they shouldn’t give access to,” Ohtani said.

“But for me, with Shohei, an interpreter who was his best friend. And then, the other thing that is weird is the day this all comes out, he’s in the dugout like ‘Hey buddy, we’re pals. Let’s go out to dinner.’ And then all of a sudden, right after the game, they tell you ‘No, this guy stole $4.5 million from you without you knowing?’ The circumstances don’t add up,” Pierzynski said.

Ohtani said he didn’t learn of Mizuhara’s gambling until a recent trip to Seoul, but Mizuhara had been lying to representatives and the team.

MLB is investigating the matter between Ohtani, one of baseball’s top stars, and his longtime personal translator and friend.

Mizuhara “has been telling everybody around that he has been communicating with me on this account to my representatives, to the team, and that has not been true,” Ohtani said.

“When we went back to the hotel one to one, that was when I found out he had a massive debt,” Ohtani stated. “It was revealed to me during that meeting that Ippei admitted he was sending money using my account to the bookmaker. At that moment, obviously it was an absurd thing that was happening, and I contacted my representatives at that point.”

“When I was finally able to talk to my representatives, that’s when my representatives found out Ippei has been lying the whole time, and that’s when I started contacting the Dodgers and my lawyers. The Dodgers and the lawyers at that moment found out also as well they had been lied to. My lawyers recommended that, since this is theft and fraud, we have the proper authorities handle this matter.”

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