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Ohtani says he never bet on sports; claims interpreter Mizuhara stole money, told lies

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By GREG BEACHAM

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132 Comments
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"...I’m sick of seeing this overpaid guy in the news every day."

Most certainly he is grossly overpaid by any normal measure, to entertain(?) us by playing a children's game...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

God I’m sick of seeing this overpaid guy in the news every day.

You'll get over it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'll just say innocent until proven guilty and I will believe the story until after the investigation is over.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They'll flag you even if it's 10,000.

Yup, in the US, $10k and above in a single cash (or cash type) transaction will get a notice sent to the IRS. Even transactions smaller than $10k can get flagged if they look like they are structured to avoid this reporting requirement.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So he says he never bet on sports, what did he bet on?

Golf?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Mocheake

He must have said the bets were Ohtani's as no bookie in his right mind would give a guy making 300 grand a credit line up to 3 million.

And yet:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2024/03/23/shohei-ohtani-bookie-bowyer/

Mizuhara told ESPN that his losses were at least $4.5 million, but** **Bass would not confirm that amount. She said his proximity to Ohtani is what made Bowyer willing to keep floating Mizuhara as the debts reached into the millions. “Because he was his best friend,” Bass said when asked why Bowyer would extend that sort of credit to a professional interpreter, whose salary was reportedly less than six figures.

So you are wrong, plain and simple.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

odorikoMar. 29 06:07 pm JST

Would a bookmaker extend millions of dollars of credit to someone?

> Yes. Once they know they've got a sucker they will keep on extending credit, as long as they keep getting partial payments. Because there is little risk to the bookie - the odds are on their side. Even if the borrower makes a big win, they will immediately double down and bet it all.

> It's not like normal lending where the lender first hands over

No, a bookmaker extends millions of dollars of credit to someone he knows is good for it. None of these guys extend 10x your income to anyone. That would be foolish and you might rub the guy out but you'd still be out a huge bundle. Once you lose a certain amount, they will want to collect all of it. There is a great risk if the guy cannot pay you back, it's not about odds. He must have said the bets were Ohtani's as no bookie in his right mind would give a guy making 300 grand a credit line up to 3 million.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Otani camp refusing to answer ESPN's question of which "authorities" they reported this "massive theft" too, after stating they had reported this to "the authorities". ESPN spoke with every "authority" they could think of from local police to the FBI and all of these authorities said Otani's camp had not contacted them. Things that make you go Hhhhmmm....

Nice way to twist the news. But in reality:

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2024/mar/27/shohei-ohtani-ippei-mizuhara-theft-allegations-wire-police-report-baseball

The Department of Homeland Security said it was working with the IRS to look into Mizuhara, but did not say whether that was connected to the alleged theft. It also did not confirm whether it had been contacted by the Ohtani camp. The IRS has previously told ESPN that it is investigating Mizuhara and California bookmaker Mathew Bowyer, but did not say whether it had been contacted by Ohtani’s representatives. Betting is legal in most US states but not in California.

So the authorities won't confirm the details of this ongoing investigation, but they confirmed they are looking into Mizuhara.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The writer of this article misleads readers and implies guilt in his statement that Ohtani read hurriedly from his prepared statement.

Anyone can see for themselves on YouTube.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Ohtani is tainted by his association with Mizuhara alone. If that's all it is, then Ohtani will recover his reputation after a few months away from him. If his performance drops, however .... . I am really hoping it doesn't.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Would a bookmaker extend millions of dollars of credit to someone?

Yes. Once they know they've got a sucker they will keep on extending credit, as long as they keep getting partial payments. Because there is little risk to the bookie - the odds are on their side. Even if the borrower makes a big win, they will immediately double down and bet it all.

It's not like normal lending where the lender first hands over hard cash.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Otani camp refusing to answer ESPN's question of which "authorities" they reported this "massive theft" too, after stating they had reported this to "the authorities". ESPN spoke with every "authority" they could think of from local police to the FBI and all of these authorities said Otani's camp had not contacted them. Things that make you go Hhhhmmm....

And by the way I don't care how rich you are, you know if $4.5mm is gone from your personal account or slush fund.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Asiaman7

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2024/03/23/shohei-ohtani-bookie-bowyer/

*Mizuhara told ESPN that his losses were at least $4.5 million, but Bass would not confirm that amount. She said his proximity to Ohtani is what made Bowyer willing to keep floating Mizuhara as the debts reached into the millions. “Because he was his best friend,” Bass said when asked why Bowyer would extend that sort of credit to a professional interpreter, whose salary was reportedly less than six figures.*

0 ( +0 / -0 )

According to the LA Times …

Would a bookmaker extend millions of dollars of credit to someone?

According to a longtime Los Angeles-area bookmaker who requested anonymity to protect himself from prosecution, doing so would be reckless and potentially cripple the business if the debt went unpaid. Only if the bettor provided collateral or proof that an enormous debt could be paid off would a bookmaker extend credit in the millions.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/shohei-ohtani-leaves-unanswered-questions-160150457.html

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Everybody focused on some Press Release. Use your common sense!

Other than Switzerland, show me a bank, any bank, that is just going to transfer 500,000 dollars?

Guys, I know it's in there. Think about it. You think the bank isn't going to flag it?

I can't even sign into another computer without getting a sign-in notification. The U.S is watching all money transfers in and outside the country. TRY IT! Go down to Mizuho Trust or SMBC and try to wire 500,000. They'll flag you even if it's 10,000.

Do you really believe that Ohtani gave his "translator" power of attorney? Even if that is true, there would be a lengthy trail of documents required before any bank would allow his "translator" to touch his money.

I apologize. It's not your fault. It must be the PTSD of Fake News or the gaslighting that prevents people from seeing an obvious lie.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I listened Ohtani's Japanese in the news conference and I understand well his circumstances and feelings, but the English translation was not so good.

For example, Shohei mentioned the reason why he did not open Q and A session, but the new interpreter did not say so.

That kind of lost in translation may be one of the reasons why some Americans still feel suspicious for him.

It's not the new interpreter's fault. I think Dodgers' fault. He, Will Ireton, is not a professional interpreter. Dodgers should have hired a professional interpreter for the press conference.
0 ( +0 / -0 )

Off course, he consulted his lawyer before the conference.

Is he lying? He and his lawyer should know the consequences if he lies and got caught, i don't think he's going to risk being jailed for escalating more the situation.

He's young, rich, achieved a lot in his career, i believe he is innocent, the problem is the person he trusted as a friend was the type of guy that sucks the blood and everything from everyone he got close to

0 ( +0 / -0 )

1.) How did an interpreter --even if a close friend (not an agent or financial advisor)-- get access to his huge accounts

2.) How did he not notice when huge sums were transferred out of his accounts multiple times

Not saying Ohtani is guilty of anything. Just curious how he can let something like that happen

1 ( +2 / -1 )

God I’m sick of seeing this overpaid guy in the news every day.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Why have Othani not filed a criminal complaint,only a victim can file a complaint,which he has not ,filing a false complaint is a crime

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I dunno, not knowing where a few million bucks in your account went to, even on a high level basis sounds mighty fishy. I do agree he should be incentivized enough to not gamble, but he's mighty careless then.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So he says he never bet on sports, what did he bet on?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I think he is lying for the team...

???

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I think he is lying for the team...

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Could have just said, "I was drunk and don't remember". Excuses are the same -- excuses. He knew, and he bet.

Ohtani: I didn't gamble.

Mizuhara: Ohtani didn't gamble.

Illegal bookie's lawyer: Ohtani never bet, it was only Mizuhara.

Ohtani's former teammates: Ohtani had no interest in other sports and no chance he gambled.

Everyone that ever knew Ohtani: Ohtani had no interest in other sports and no chance he gambled.

Random JT poster: Ohtani bet.

Hmm.. who should I believe here?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

“I never bet on sports or have willfully sent money to the bookmaker.”

Could have just said, "I was drunk and don't remember". Excuses are the same -- excuses. He knew, and he bet.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Otani has a team of people working for him. This most of course includes his finances. Multiple wire transfers equating to 4.5 million would most definitely raise red flags. Excuses like him not understand the US banking system and blah blah is comical. I sincerely hope the evidence clears his name but I know exactly 700 million reasons as to why he might lie.

Please don't pretend like you know anything about Ohtani's "team".

And people with much more expertise than you on the matter have already said Ohtani would only get a small fine even if it was true he sent the money. He has absolutely no reason to take a big risk by lying about this.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I think there is no way that Ohtani do anything which deprives him of baseball.

However, I don't know all about what happened.

All I can do is wait for the time when all facts will turn out.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

On a serious note. I am not buying his story. He knew. And for a while too. Tried to cover it all up. Selling out his boy as the fall guy.....

There is no doubt there is a trail. Somebody has to take the fall, and we know it’s not going to be Ohtani.

Look at all the naive people here, “I believe him.” Lol, you mean you just support him.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Hahahaha

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

kaimycahl

Today 10:47 pm JST

@ian What is it that you don't understand? Ohtani has not been charged of ANYTHING!!!! But he has to defend his good name and his character. You are Confused!!!!

> Court? What is ohtani being charged of?

Lol

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@ian What is it that you don't understand? Ohtani has not been charged of ANYTHING!!!! But he has to defend his good name and his character. You are Confused!!!!

Court? What is ohtani being charged of?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Wilkins King

Today 09:12 pm JST

Whoever wrote Otani's statement did him a disservice. He should have just given a contrite apology

Isn't that admittance of wrongdoing?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Or is he charging ippei?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Court? What is ohtani being charged of?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The million-dollar question? Who authorized the payments? Remember in the US you have a right to remain silent or anything you say can be used against you in the court of law. Ohtani handlers or should I say lawyers like many know the English language well most lawyers in the country are usually English, History, or political science majors in college. This make them very crafty in being able to go to court to ask you a question and then you will say one thing but they will ALSO ask you that same question in a different way. What I am saying is the English language and the USE OF WORDS can be twisted with that say here is what Ohtani is now being coached to say "Ohtani still attempted to answer the most important question by repeatedly emphasizing he was never knowingly involved in gambling. He provided no details on how Mizuhara might have been able to steal his money to pay gambling debts". The KEY WORD is KNOWINGLY what Ohtani is being instructed to say by his lawyers in a twisted way is "I don't know but I could have known but I am not sure BUT he is not admitting he did. This is a safe way to play on the actions of the accused. His attorney know exactly what Ohtani did or perhaps did not do and this is how they are shielding him from admitting anything as they prepare for his defense because they know they have to have an answer for “WHO AUTHORIZED THE PAYMENTS” on the other hand Ippei now that he knows that Ohtani is defending himself his attorney will try to flip the script by saying Ohtani gave his client the ok to make the payments. This will be up to the jury to decide who is telling the truth based on the evidence provided. Keep in MIND WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT INFORMATION THE FEDS have because they have been on the trail years before the allegations came out. If Ohtani says that Ippei told lies those lies will have to be proven. Remember not only is Ippei trying to prevent the least amount of time in jail, his attorney will do all he can to MAKE A NAME FOR HIMSELF and BUSINESS to win a court case against a high profile athlete.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Whoever wrote Otani's statement did him a disservice. He should have just given a contrite apology - for being involved in something like this - to his fans in Japan, corporate sponsors, Dodger organization, Majir League Baseball, worldwide fans, youth worldwide who admire him, and had his wife standing beside him. No need to issue case details and denials that might later prove untrue. Let his high powered agent at CAA, legal reps in Japan, Dodger legal department and US legal team get lost in the weeds.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Otani has a team of people working for him. This most of course includes his finances. Multiple wire transfers equating to 4.5 million would most definitely raise red flags. Excuses like him not understand the US banking system and blah blah is comical. I sincerely hope the evidence clears his name but I know exactly 700 million reasons as to why he might lie.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

As I mentioned above, I'm an Ohtani fan, though not an uber-fan like most Japanese...

The part the concerns me the most is while Ohtani said his money was stolen, he has yet to clarify how the wire transfers in his name were made - nor has he clearly stated he didn't make them.

The bookie says Mizuhara was a client for over 2 years, and that there were nine $500K payments sent by wire.

Two things strain credibility somewhat...

Did Ohtani really give Mizuhara complete authorization over one of his accounts - one with over $5 million in it?

How were these nine $500K payments kept secret from Ohtani and the office-full of business managers, lawyers, and accountants he has to manage his money?

I hope his story is proven by the facts, but if he is lying about anything, he's done...

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Today  11:30 am JST “ What I don’t understand is anytime you have a wire transfer over $10,000 US dollars you will be notified. I don’t understand how Ohtani could have missed those transactions. All so in the US you are innocent UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. Ohtani gave a statement and left taking no questions from the reporters if he is innocent why not continue to talk. Reason he remained silent is his attorneys told him not to say anything besides what was already prepared in front of him because THEY KNOW ANYTHING HE SAYS COULD BE USED AGAINST HIM IN THE COURT OF LAW. I think if he took questions from reporters that would have given him more credibility but not taking questions makes the people wonder. “

Today  01:45 pm JST “ Just read Pete Rose's take on this in the New York Post. Not much there, mainly sour grapes but it seems he, like many people, are not sold on the interpreter-hands-in-the-bank-account story and he might very well have company on the banned list here in due time. If MLB was the only one doing an investigation I'd smell a rat as their own greed would lead them to sweep any bit of culpability on Ohtani's part under the rug versus potentially losing a such a huge cash cow. The IRS and the feds are a whole different ballgame, pun intended, and love taking down anyone foolish enough to be in bed with bookies and dumb or naive enough to believe the law doesn't apply to them. As every American and many others are fully aware, the IRS always gets their man. Get your popcorn ready! “

Well said. A few days ago, I said that Ohtani’s “well protected” and that he’d be ok; well, I guess I was being too optimistic; he’s not in Japan, he’s in the US and that makes a huge difference; the timing of his marriage, the way Mizuhara conveniently changed his story (after some private conversations?) and his silence today at the press conference (he just read a piece of paper) makes us believe that he’s trying to make it all go away (we all wish it could be that simple but, unfortunately, reality is a little bit different). For now, he’s innocent (unbelievably naive and maybe even stupid, but innocent) but (and this is a very important but) we’re gonna keep sharing our thoughts.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Is Ohtani being investigated?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This bookie better think twice and not go Rambo, as the sharks are circling....

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The Press is not buying this Othani story

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

The truth is too inconvenient and expensive for $MLB, so everyone needs to be paid off quickly, as this is a shake down, plain and simple, Ohtani, an easy mark.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The bookie was involved with Columbia mob family

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Othani is not the brightest person in the world,this interview was prepared by the team,that got no legal powers,that is also investigating him

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

He didn't sign with Boston. So we need to look at how Millions were sent to the Bookie without him knowing.

On a serious note. I am not buying his story. He knew. And for a while too. Tried to cover it all up. Selling out his boy as the fall guy.....

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Fighto!

Today 04:19 pm JST

Can still be his friend even if what iwas said in this article is true

> LOL. You'd have to be absolutely desperate for friends if you allowed a creep to fleece you of millions...and still remain "friends".

> Nope. Ohtani won't have contact with this individual again. I suspect that will be made very clear

Why wasn't it made clear here?

Has it been made clear yet?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Before anyone accuses him of being a dummy for doing such a thing, how capable were you with your Japanese banking procedures without speaking the language?

Exactly! I needed to open a bank account right away when I moved, and really only Japan Post will do that. Their site is reasonably English-friendly and the local branch bent over backwards to help me get things set up (despite none of them speaking English and my Japanese still at beginner student level)...and it was STILL a difficult process that took days to finalize. And let's just say we're not talking Ohtani-level money here! I just needed a simple passbook account...not the doubtless complex account a highly-paid MLP player would want.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It seems likely a third party was trying to extort Ohtani and his interpreter, that would be my first instinct if I were at MLB. As foreigners in US, they're an easy mark for organized crime in these tough betting markets.

Ohtani should up his security detail, which I believe he has, as now it's strictly clean up time. Just saying...

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The sudden marriage would explain a lot as the affair with the interpreter heated up. The dog was not enough.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Nobody's close friend in these risky times, lawyers and PR types decide that stuff. Believe what you may Fighto, as this media narrative's being written strictly by MLB.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

The press and media keep trying to cover his past and current scandals.

What "past scandals"? Please enlighten us. Oh that's right, there's none.

I'd be VERY surprised if these two were not VERY close friends.

Mizuhara was an associate and effectively an employee. Not a "very close friend". He used the fact Ohtani is English illiterate to take advantage of him, it seems.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Redtail SwiftToday  05:06 pm JST

The bookie the police arrested is starting to sing. Whatever hopes you have for Ohtani are about to be dashed. The press and media keep trying to cover his past and current scandals.

It's all about to come out. You think that rich bookie is going to cut a deal to save Ohtani? You got a rude awakening coming. He's going to save himself. It's called a plea bargain. You might be thinking this is bad for Ohtani and bad media, you'd be wrong. Every news media outlet, YouTuber, anybody who can make a buck off a good scandal for these chickens to come home to roost.

You might be right, but I'd bet heavily on power of MLB owners and Big Media to dig $deep and keep this bookie quiet. Ohtani's everyone's MLB goldmine, fills seats and improves TV ratings, that's serious $stuff, plus the Geopolitical element as a 'kicker'. Bookies all like $!

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

"And 4.5 million sounds like a number you would notice is missing but that's like 5000 dollars to the average joe"

¥Incorrect; units are important. The figure has been estimated as roku oku hassen man yen [¥680,000,000].

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

If they really had an 'angle' on betting and the need to do so, then they should have thought twice. Michael Jordan made the same mistake.

They should have 'enabled' a silent partner somewhere, but one wonders why such an activity needed given Ohtani's endorsement power and brand. Often ego and adrenaline in youth ignore obvious logic and risk mgmt.

Maybe it was betting that made their friendship special?

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

The bookie the police arrested is starting to sing. Whatever hopes you have for Ohtani are about to be dashed. The press and media keep trying to cover his past and current scandals.

It's all about to come out. You think that rich bookie is going to cut a deal to save Ohtani? You got a rude awakening coming. He's going to save himself. It's called a plea bargain. You might be thinking this is bad for Ohtani and bad media, you'd be wrong. Every news media outlet, YouTuber, anybody who can make a buck off a good scandal for these chickens to come home to roost.

Rude awakening coming.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

If his story is true he is very naive. Maybe his wife should take control of their finances.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Truth never so obvious, the sport far bigger than Ohtani and so these matters need to 'managed' carefully. I'd be VERY surprised if these two were not VERY close friends.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

friendship

I would not be surprised if it was more. Also, falsifying what happened is a crime in itself of obstructing justice.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

itsonlyrocknroll

Today 04:34 pm JST

You know Ian, Los Angeles Dodgers' Shohei Ohtani is a genuine guy, nothing about him would scare the horses.

> If he and his best friend had a flutter, stand up admit it and move on.

> One thing I have learnt from business is true friendship is for life, cannot be brought.

> One could have had succumbed to gambling addiction, and the subsequent debts spiralled out of contro.l

> If so, give both a second chance

Whatever happens/happened to their friendship the priority for them now is to safeguard Ohtani / ohtanis career. Ohtani can't admit / be found out complicit to the gambling

1 ( +2 / -1 )

You know Ian, Los Angeles Dodgers' Shohei Ohtani is a genuine guy, nothing about him would scare the horses.

If he and his best friend had a flutter, stand up admit it and move on.

One thing I have learnt from business is true friendship is for life, cannot be brought.

One could have had succumbed to gambling addiction, and the subsequent debts spiralled out of contro.l

If so, give both a second chance.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

First of all I was completely shocked by this news, and now it would be naive to be surprised if any other shocking revelation comes out.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Can still be his friend even if what iwas said in this article is true

LOL. You'd have to be absolutely desperate for friends if you allowed a creep to fleece you of millions...and still remain "friends".

Nope. Ohtani won't have contact with this individual again. I suspect that will be made very clear.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

For those questioning how Ippei controlled Ohtanis account. First, without the disclosure of what type of account and banking arrangements he has/had. It's inappropriate to invoke suspicion based on your regular checking account policies experience. Some of those higher earning rarely use regular banking accounts.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I believe him.

‘nor had I asked or authorized him to transfer money to a bookmaker.’ This makes me believe that Ippei had made payments in the past with Ohtani’s permission, but in this case, Ohtani didn’t ask him to do that or have any idea it was happening. Lots of people asking how he had Shohei’s account, but it’s not unheard of. My BOE supervisor here had all JET ALT bank details and hanko to make payments, tie up loose ends when we leave, because of the language barrier etc. It’s risky, for sure, but thankfully our supervisor didn't do anything like this . I am sure Shohei trusted Ippei in this sense. This is just what I speculate, Ippei may have done something sneakier to get the details. I doubt Ohtani is very savvy when it comes to banking (many Japanese don't even netbank here) and his mother used to do his banking for him. He probably doesn't have much time to look over his bank details with his schedule.

In any case, the authorities will figure it out, Ippei is already saying he was the one who did it. He breeched and took advantage of their close relationship and Ohtani’s language barrier. Ippei has as history of gambling and completely lying about his credentials.    

For now, I don’t believe in a huge coverup/conspiracy over the ‘golden boy of baseball. As it stands, Ohtani is a victim of theft. I really do hope that justice is served in a sense that if he is found guilty, he faces consequences, but if he’s he’s innocent, I hope that people will not heckle and ridicule him about the situation.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I think he’s fibbing

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

As long as Mizuhara goes along with the same story, like the good fall guy he is, Ohtani will be in the clear. As others have said, Ohtani brand is just too valuable to tarnish over a spot of gambling. It's not as if anyone has died.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Damage to ippei has been done best for the two of them is to limit damage to shohei.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

itsonlyrocknroll

Today 03:09 pm JST

Ian, his best friend.

> Do you believe a word of this?

I don't disbelieve it.

Can still be his friend even if what iwas said in this article is true

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Ian, his best friend.

Do you believe a word of this?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Sanjinosebleed

Today 02:28 pm JST

Dodgy as hell! Something very fishy here still!

Well he's a dodger

3 ( +5 / -2 )

tora

Today 02:14 pm JST

Team Ippei all the way

> What's that?

> Go Ippei, go! I'm on your side! Etc

Wouldn't it be in ippei's best interest to work with Ohtani?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Dodgy as hell! Something very fishy here still!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Mizohara was basically ohanti s personal assistant

This would hardly be the first time a p.a has stolen money from their boss.

And 4.5 million sounds like a number you would notice is missing but that's like 5000 dollars to the average joe

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Team Ippei all the way

What's that?

Go Ippei, go! I'm on your side! Etc

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Team Ippei all the way

What's that?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

It's all an image game now. Team Ippei all the way. Shohei knows exactly what happened and they must've bet on things together, or even solo. Bookies keep their records and there is no account of app use out of state. All seems sushi (fishy).

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Just read Pete Rose's take on this in the New York Post. Not much there, mainly sour grapes but it seems he, like many people, are not sold on the interpreter-hands-in-the-bank-account story and he might very well have company on the banned list here in due time. If MLB was the only one doing an investigation I'd smell a rat as their own greed would lead them to sweep any bit of culpability on Ohtani's part under the rug versus potentially losing a such a huge cash cow. The IRS and the feds are a whole different ballgame, pun intended, and love taking down anyone foolish enough to be in bed with bookies and dumb or naive enough to believe the law doesn't apply to them. As every American and many others are fully aware, the IRS always gets their man. Get your popcorn ready!

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Shohei Ohtani has now turned his back on Ippei Mizuhara

You don't know that

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Ohtani, should have followed the Japanese motto "SILENCE IS GOLDEN."

Because the American motto in the legal system is " Anything you say can be held against you."

He needs to get a good lawyer, seal his lips and let only his lawyer do the talking, full stop.

It is clear this interpreter is being thrown under the bus and Ohtani is involved but how much is the question.

The first clue is his marriage, it was so low key and when he came out about the wife after the marriage very strange, really. I think this marriage was to deflect from a scandal that Ohtani clearly knew was coming.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

If one can believe Ohtani did not know about the gambling issues, it is another thing to let an interpreter become your personalaccountant !

One may not read English, but reading figures is another field.

Maybe it happened over a short time.

What was the real accountant doing ?

It seems too easy to give power of attorney to a friend about your bank account then say you bear no responsibility about what the money is used for.

That is not possible in my country outside people with impairment or a shared account or within family.

Everybody would be doing so otherwise !

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Shohei Ohtani said Monday he never bet on sports or knowingly paid any gambling debts accumulated by his Ippei Mizuhara interpreter,

Ippei Mizuhara, before Shohei Ohtani dear friend confident , after now just a thief?

No, Shohei Ohtani has little choice, this is the harsh reality of professional sport.

Ohtani has no friends,

Both Ippei Mizuhara, Shohei Ohtani allegedly, had a flutter, that moment of excitement, a win, is all consuming.

Shohei Ohtani has now turned his back on Ippei Mizuhara.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Direct payments to a bookie, its a very bad look. They are not something you can excuse away as personal loans or "investments" made to something that is merely a shell company.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Anyway whatever the truth is he's not a fall guy.

It's his responsibility to shield his friend from any fallout from this

0 ( +3 / -3 )

ESPN said Mizuhara changed his story the following day, claiming Ohtani had no knowledge of the gambling debts and had not transferred any money to bookmakers.

This is the truth now unless he retracts it.

And why would he?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Last season, Ohtani had apparently provided the money for that Kabuto that the Angels players put on after hitting a home run, and Ippei had been the one who actually ordered it on Ohtani’s behalf.

So it sounds like Ohtani had basically entrusted his bank account details to Ippei.

Well, good thing Ohtani has a wife now… I guess?! I hope she can stay clean :) I am sure she can.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Ohtani read quickly in Japanese from a document and did not take questions.

If Ohtani is simply going to present a written statement, is it really necessary for him to read it? Can’t he just release it? Moreover, why the interpreter? Can’t Ohtani read the English release himself?

Ohtani should really use this opportunity to develop his own English voice.

I realize that many Ohtani supporters argue that he is so wealthy that he can afford to pay others to maneuver his chopsticks for him, but learning to interact with others is part of becoming a balanced adult.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Actually the interpreter's punishment via social exclusion in Japan and the US, probably divorce and bankruptcy and zero career prospects will be worse than whatever punishment he gets in the courts. Also, even if he admits to stealing money, the police will still independently verify if that is what happened. People can make false claims of guilt which does not lead to justice. I predict this will all be forgotten in a few months, a mere footnote in the Ohtani legacy, but the main chapter in the interpreter's pamphlet.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

They should have come up with a better story than this. It isn't even remotely convincing to anyone with half a brain -- it's on the level of the "dog ate my homework". I actually feel sorry for Ippei-san.

-8 ( +10 / -18 )

Well-rehearsed by the lawyers.

The fall guy is Ippei and blame would be pushed to him, even to having access to Ohtani's computer to send the money to Bowyer.

Otani doesn’t gamble. And the idea that he’s convincing Ippei to take a fall for what will almost certainly be a felony prison sentence leads one to wonder what and when the poster was ingesting.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

If the interpreter was the one in negotiations with the signing of the language for the contract it could be that he added that language in documents to have access to Ohtani accounts. What I don’t understand is anytime you have a wire transfer over $10,000 US dollars you will be notified. I don’t understand how Ohtani could have missed those transactions. All so in the US you are innocent UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. Ohtani gave a statement and left taking no questions from the reporters if he is innocent why not continue to talk. Reason he remained silent is his attorneys told him not to say anything besides what was already prepared in front of him because THEY KNOW ANYTHING HE SAYS COULD BE USED AGAINST HIM IN THE COURT OF LAW. I think if he took questions from reporters that would have given him more credibility but not taking questions makes the people wonder.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

talvitakki

My husband, who was one of the board members of Japanese Railwat East,

I'm going to guess that you and your husband are a generation off from Ohtani, possibly even two. Things have changed, or at least should have in this case...

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Well-rehearsed by the lawyers.

The fall guy is Ippei and blame would be pushed to him, even to having access to Ohtani's computer to send the money to Bowyer.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

It is quite natural that Mr Mizutani was fully controlling Mr Otani's money just as a Japanese wife would.

I don't think you realize it. You cannot compare the banking management of a normal family (simple salary, vacation and food budget) and the financial management of a top athlete (salary, marketing, bonus,...).

For these people it is not their wife or friend who can manages it but several professionals (it's a job).

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I want to open an account with Ohtani's bank. I get blocked by mine when I try to spend a couple of thousand yen on Mercari.

0 ( +13 / -13 )

It is quite natural that Mr Mizutani was fully controlling Mr Otani's money just as a Japanese wife would.

Are you saying the interpreter was Ohtani's wife? That is weird. In any case, your idea of men handing over their paychecks is going the way of the dodo bird.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

My husband, who was one of the board members of Japanese Railwat East, never got involved with financual issues leaving the work to his secretary and other junior staff. He never cared about his own family finance leaving all to me, his wife. Japanese wives are rich,managing all of her husbands' income so that husbands can work fully consentrating on their work. Wives give pocket money to husbands. My husbands' senior, the president of JR East, said: I am happy that my wife is kind to give me 100,000 yen per month. He earned 60,000,000 yen a year. Japanese CEO earns quite modestly.

It is quite natural that Mr Mizutani was fully controlling Mr Otani's money just as a Japanese wife would.

A big culture difference. Japanese wives might be luckiest in the world.

(In expensive restaurants we see mostly wives, rarely husbands who might be having Soba noodles.)

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

What else is he going to say?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I do not believe that Shohei is betting on sports. I do think that he was only innocently trying to help a friend in need. The sum of money transferred under his name make you wonder how he did not know what what was happening, as the article mentioned there was no explanation of that.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

It”s impossible to believe the interpreter could take $4.5 million out of Ohtani’s account without

Ohtani knowing;

his agent knowing;

his business manager knowing;

his accounting firm knowing

At the very least it was a $$$ gift to the guy. If so, you have to ask yourself why didn’t Ohtani’s conga line of money handlers amend his tax returns to reflect the proper gift tax payment that’s owed to Uncle Sam? The amount was well below the minimum tax exemption provision.

No matter the outcome, the stench of this scandal will follow Ohtani for the rest of his baseball career/life.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Apparently, Ohtani spends his free time sleeping. All these must have happened while he's sleeping.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Gene HennighToday 07:24 am JST

This seems to vindicate Mr. Ohtani. Those of us who believed him believe him now. There is no reason for a man who has a contract of his size to risk it all on betting or abetting a person, even a friend, in any illegality. He spends his time on his work, he has a new wife, and his plate is full. He is, it appears, to be what he seems to be, like him or not.

C'mon! Look, from your posts I know you are deeply in love with everything Japanese, especially Ohtani. That's fine, but first off, one's contract has nothing to do with one's character or integrity. You know nothing about him except for what the press tells you and anything else is pure speculation. People do risky and foolish things all the time and when you are adored by millions, have enormous sums of money at your disposal, hardly ever and quite possibly never get told no, you can easily start to be deluded into thinking that you are above the law. Also, people have been known at times to make mistakes. Ohtani is first and foremost human, which makes him fallible, just like the rest of us. Why did it take him 5 full days to address the public? He did the press conference in his native language and he's a grown man so surely he could have addressed it right away without having to wait so long and read from a prepared document. How did Mizutani get his hands on all that money over two years? Any time there is suspicious activity from my account, I get contacted by the bank. Just how was he able to get into Ohtani's account, take millions from it for years and Ohtani not notice it? Why didn't Ohtani take any questions at the press conference? I'm skeptical of everyone, moreso people who are made up by the press to be greater than human. There are quite few glaring red flags there whether you want to see them or not.

-6 ( +15 / -21 )

If Ohtani’s incredible story is true, it will be supported by forensic evidence about his and Mizuhara’s locations and online activities over years.

I want it to be true. I really do. But I am dubious.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

We need a grand jury to get too the bottom of this conspiracy

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

@Jim, have to say I agree with you. Would be practically impossible or should I say very difficult to transfer this sum even as the account holder

4 ( +10 / -6 )

I really hope Ohtani is on the up-and-up with what he's saying....because if he's caught lying, it's game over...

And if he was lying, it would probably be pretty easy to prove that he's lying. Which inclines me to believe him.

I'm not a liar. But if I was, at least I wouldn't be stupid enough to tell lies that I know could easily be refuted.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

Redemption Today  08:01 am JST

Now just need to clarify how the interpreter was able to send millions from someone else’s bank account.

I'm guessing Ohtani gave Mizuhara power of attorney over his U.S. bank account, given the fact that he (Ohtani) doesn't know very much English.

Similar to how my Japanese wife handles a lot of things here in Japan (bank account, lease on our house, utilities, etc.) that are all actually in my name.

Because my Japanese reading ability on the JLPT is somewhere around N1,000.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

Texas A&M AggieToday  08:53 am JST

Until the investigations by both MLB and the IRS are completed and it’s determined that Otani is innocent of any improprieties, for the good of the sport he should be banned from entering any stadium the Dodgers play in.

Uh, no.

He's innocent until proven guilty, and that's not just in a court of law.

And as long as he's not proven guilty of anything, he has a right to earn a living, and to do the job for which he entered into a contract.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

The wire transfers are a problem - as was mentioned above, the bank requires a signature and ID verification for any wire transfer over $10K, and then follows up when the transfer is compete.

If that's true, that would be such a ridiculously easy way to prove Ohtani's involvement -- in which case, I would think Ohtani would come clean.

He'd have no choice. He wouldn't have a leg to stand on.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Until and unless some contrasting information comes out, Ohtani gets the benefit of the doubt from me. I believe him.

This would hardly be the first time that a rich celebrity has been betrayed, and has been stolen from, by someone he/she greatly trusted. Someone who was considered not just a business associate but also a friend.

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

Ohtani and Mizuhara had been daily companions since Ohtani joined the Angels in 2018

They've actually known each other longer than that.

Mizuhara was the foreign players' translator for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters when Ohtani was on the team.

So these two guys have known each other for 9 or 10 years.

Mizuhara wasn't Ohtani's "daily companion" when they were with Nippon Ham, but that's when they first got to know each other.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Makes sense for the interpreter to take the 'fall' no matter what actually transpired. Ohtani brand is simply too valuable. The interpreter can be paid to stay quiet.

-4 ( +10 / -14 )

I like Ohtani, but a couple things here look pretty suspicious...

First, these two guys have been tied together for years - just imagine how much time they have spent together each day....and it makes it a little hard to believe that Ohtani wasn't aware of this guy's massive betting...

The wire transfers are a problem - as was mentioned above, the bank requires a signature and ID verification for any wire transfer over $10K, and then follows up when the transfer is compete. You wouldn't think Mizuhara has that level of authorization over Ohtani's accounts.

I really hope Ohtani is on the up-and-up with what he's saying....because if he's caught lying, it's game over...

15 ( +20 / -5 )

It's not his version, but a version written by his lawyers that he just read, that's all.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

Ohtani spoke for nearly 12 minutes in a small room packed with dozens of reporters

12 minutes just to call Mizuhara a liar(?) and say: “I didn’t do anything”.

1)

Wearing a Dodgers cap and sweatshirt, Ohtani read quickly in Japanese from a document and did not take questions.

2)

He provided no details on how Mizuhara might have been able to steal his money to pay gambling debts.

If you think this is over… it’s not—we’re all waiting, Ohtani. Good luck.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

He must be telling the truth. Why would he lie?

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

Until the investigations by both MLB and the IRS are completed and it’s determined that Otani is innocent of any improprieties, for the good of the sport he should be banned from entering any stadium the Dodgers play in.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Fightoo,the Fed knew about the transaction as early as January

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Before anyone accuses him of being a dummy for doing such a thing, how capable were you with your Japanese banking procedures without speaking the language?

Obviously, he trusted the wrong guy.

Exactly. Ohtani is guilty of naivety in placing trust in a highly dubious person, Mizuhara. It is not fully known yet the details as to how this sketchy Mizuhara transferred the millions from Ohtani's account, but it seems Shohei is probably unfamiliar with the US banking system.

Couple this naivety with his lack of English ability (functionally illiterate) means he was easily preyed upon.

Let's all hope future stories are about Ohtani's jaw-dropping feats in the present season.

2 ( +13 / -11 )

The cover up seems to be worse than the initial crime… lol !

A bank will never transfer that amount of money without proper authorization from the account holder ( no two ways about it )! The banking laws are just too strict due to all the criminal activities and terrorism. That’s the reason most criminals use bitcoins these days instead of bank transfers. Anyone believing this coverup is just kidding themself!

-15 ( +17 / -32 )

High grade naivety.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Guess this is what happen when you rely on someone else to handle all your English related affairs including banking and buying stuff for you and at the same time ask them to translate everything into Japanese to you without even knowing if what they say is true or not

if you cannot read the bank document, then is best not to rely on just your interpretor alone. Who knows what they tell you about your account. But i guess is also understanding if he only wanted to rely on 1 person to handle his more private affairs and doesn’t want others to know too much of his more sensitive matters. And is not like he could run to the bank or a lawyer to have them translate for him every time the bank send a notice or a document and needed his approval for something. Is why you have a interpretor in the first place.

Sigh, being betrayed by the person you most trust in helping you translate is gonna hit him hard.

2 ( +12 / -10 )

I still don't believe anything until the investigation has finished. Otherwise, he can say anything he wants. Remember, he has his council to coach him. I'm still wondering how and why Mizuhara had access to Ohtani's account. Pretty sad that Mizuhara also lied on his resume that he graduated from UC Riverside. In the US, they're always going to check. I was checked on my credentials while in the US with every application.

13 ( +22 / -9 )

Who cares!

-17 ( +9 / -26 )

Yup , denial is the ultimate defense, then comes Prove me , then come an apology and a bow.

This is how it works almost all the times.

7 ( +19 / -12 )

@Redemption

Power of attorney perhaps?

Before anyone accuses him of being a dummy for doing such a thing, how capable were you with your Japanese banking procedures without speaking the language?

Obviously, he trusted the wrong guy.

0 ( +18 / -18 )

Now just need to clarify how the interpreter was able to send millions from someone else’s bank account.

37 ( +43 / -6 )

If only interpreter not needed, that it won't be a problem at all.

-24 ( +13 / -37 )

@kurisupisuToday  07:35 am JST

Is this still news

Yes and we have to endure it for weeks 6 times a day.(⁠・⁠o⁠・⁠;

6 ( +19 / -13 )

Is this still news?

-23 ( +7 / -30 )

This seems to vindicate Mr. Ohtani. Those of us who believed him believe him now. There is no reason for a man who has a contract of his size to risk it all on betting or abetting a person, even a friend, in any illegality. He spends his time on his work, he has a new wife, and his plate is full. He is, it appears, to be what he seems to be, like him or not.

9 ( +34 / -25 )

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