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Q&A: What's next for Shohei Ohtani and MLB after charges against Ippei Mizuhara?

Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Baseball

Federal investigators said Thursday they are working with “other interested parties” but declined to say whether MLB was one of them.

Did MLB issue a statement?

Yes, and here it is: “We are aware of the charges filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office against Mr. Mizuhara for bank fraud after a thorough federal investigation. According to that investigation, Shohei Ohtani is considered a victim of fraud and there is no evidence that he authorized betting with an illegal bookmaker. Further, the investigation did not find any betting on baseball by Mr. Mizuhara.

“Given the information disclosed today, and other information we have already collected, we will wait until resolution of the criminal proceeding to determine whether further investigation is warranted.”

Would there be any basis to discipline Ohtani?

Based on the complaint, and on the press conference that accompanied its filing, there would not appear to be any such grounds.

 

“Mr. Ohtani is considered a victim in this case,” U.S. Attorney E. Martin Estrada said.

Mizuhara lost $40 million on a total of about 19,000 bets between December 2021 and January 2024, according to the complaint. The records, the complaint said, “do not reflect any bets on baseball games.”

MGM, DraftKings and Fan Duel “found records and a history of gambling for Mizuhara, but found no records for (Ohtani).”

How did federal investigators access information from Mizuhara?

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