Interpreter Charged With Stealing $16M From Ohtani

    Interpreter Charged With Stealing $16M From Ohtani
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    The Facts

    • MLB star Shohei Ohtani's longtime interpreter was charged Thursday with bank fraud, as federal prosecutors accuse Ippei Mizuhara of stealing more than $16M from the Los Angeles Dodgers two-way player. Mizuhara turned himself into federal officials on Friday with a bond set at $25K.

    • In a 37-page complaint filed in a California federal court, prosecutors claim Mizuhara between Nov. 2021 and Jan. 2024 transferred millions from Ohtani’s bank account to pay operators of an illegal sports book.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    When this story broke, the public was quick to crucify baseball’s brightest star without any knowledge of the situation. Weeks later, it appears Ohtani is actually the victim in this situation. Thursday’s court filing shows the extreme depths of Mizuhara's betrayal of his friend and boss. Ohtani should be rightfully exonerated in both MLB and the court of public opinion.

    Narrative B

    Baseball has always been sensitive to matters involving gambling, so it shouldn't turn a blind eye to Ohtani’s potential involvement in this scandal. Baseball must probe how Ohtani didn't notice the money missing and whether he knew more about his friend's gambling issues. Ohtani's celebrity shouldn't protect him from crucial scrutiny.

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