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Multiple Inaccuracies Found In Bio Of Shohei Ohtani Interpreter Accused Of 'Massive Theft'

New questions arose about the man at the center of the Shohei Ohtani gambling scandal after journalists uncovered multiple inconsistencies with interpreter Ippei Mizuhara’s biography.

Earlier this week, Mizuhara was fired by the Los Angeles Dodgers after Ohtani’s representatives publicly accused him of engaging in a “massive theft” of the baseball star’s money.

While Mizuhara initially claimed Ohtani had knowingly paid off $4.5 million of his close friend and longtime interpreter’s gambling debt, representatives for the baseball player disavowed his account to the media.

Now, reports from The Athletic and NBC Los Angeles are casting further doubt on Mizuhara’s credibility.

The outlets found multiple discrepancies in Mizuhara’s education and work history in a biography that appeared in the Los Angeles Angels’ media guide, starting in 2019. Mizuhara was hired by the Angels after the team drafted Ohtani from Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball league in 2017.

Shohei Ohtani and his interpreter Ippei Mizuhara are pictured in May 2023, during Ohtani's time on the Los Angeles Angels.
Shohei Ohtani and his interpreter Ippei Mizuhara are pictured in May 2023, during Ohtani's time on the Los Angeles Angels. Quinn Harris via Getty Images

Though Mizuhara’s bio says he graduated from the University of California, Riverside in 2007, the school told The Athletic, “Our university records do not show a student by the name of Ippei Mizuhara having attended UC Riverside.”

Mizuhara’s links to former MLB pitcher Hideki Okajima have also come under scrutiny.

The Angels media guide states Mizuhara worked as Okajima’s interpreter during “Yankees Spring Training in 2012,” but multiple news stories from the time cited by The Athletic show Okajima was released by the Yankees prior to spring training, following a failed physical exam.

In a statement earlier this week, the Boston Red Sox corrected reports that Mizuhara worked as Okajima’s interpreter during the 2010 season.

“Mizuhara was never employed by the Boston Red Sox in any capacity and was not an interpreter for Hideki Okajima during the pitcher’s time with the team,” it read. “Please know that we have thoroughly checked our files to ensure we are providing accurate information.”

The Athletic also reviewed spring 2010 archives from the Boston Globe, which named Ryo Shinkawa as Okajima’s interpreter.

On Friday, Major League Baseball announced it had opened an official investigation into the Ohtani gambling ordeal.

The day prior, a spokesperson for the IRS told The Associated Press that Mizuhara and alleged illegal bookmaker Mathew Bowyer are both under criminal investigation.

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