Shohei Ohtani’s attorneys accuse interpreter of ‘massive theft’ tied to alleged gambling

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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There is one thing I want to get off my chest as I sat here wondering why I even give two shits about this.
And I want to make sure I'm as clear as I can be with this and I'm not outwardly accusing anyone of consciously doing this out of any sort of malice.
Here it is. Some of you may know that I'm an Asian American. I, luckily, have not appeared to suffer from too much psychological damage growing up in New England in the 80s and being subject to all the stereotypes we have...especially since I met most of them.
But I want to pose a question. If this happened to an American American or Latin American or any race, would people be conjuring up dramatic cases of criminal mastery?
Which brings me to this. Does anyone know if Ohtani is more like Greg Maddix or Jonathan Papelbon? Like...are people putting on this idea that Ohtani, because he's seemingly been built in a factory and bred for baseball, is apparently a genius with hiding his multimillion gambling habit?
I'm saying the above not as me accusing anyone at all, but more an explanation to others on why this random guy who almost never posts in the MLB forums seems to incredulous at many of the posts.
I have a feeling someone will take what I said the wrong way, and my next words may just be me trying to cover my ass. But I truly mean this...I have never once stood up for myself for race related things, so I'm certainly not too sensitive about it...but for some random reason, this did and maybe someone can explained exactly why be sure I'm not sure I do.
Editorial addition: I'm not sure I will post about this anymore because I don't want to defend myself nor attack anyone about this. I just want people to think a little bit harder about why they think that Ohtani did something criminal...and this coming from someone who still thinks something else has to drop, but not necessarily on Ohtani himself.
It is always good to ask these questions. My view is we should challenge ourselves on this stuff. Trying to be as honest with myself as I can and taking your question to heart, the answer I come up with for myself is that Ohtani being in a land where he does not speak the language well and is is dedicated to baseball makes me much more willing to believe he is guileless than if he were an American/English speaking player. If he were, I would be more inclined to believe he had knowledge. Ohtani being an outsider culturally is in his favor. It is the only thing that makes this possibly of his absolute cluelessness believable, actually. But I don’t think it has to do with being from any particular country or region. It could just as easily be Venezuela.

$16 million of his dollars ended up in an illegal bookie’s account, and the press coverage when opinions were formed was bizarre and reflected some strange early choices by his team. That, and the desire of people to incline toward stories where people on pedestals fall, is the basis for most of the skepticism I have seen.

I can’t know what is in the hearts and minds of others, but it doesn’t feel like a race issue. Also, Ohtani is beloved. Like, people adore the guy. But people also gravitate toward the salacious story. Maybe there are race reasons why. This doesn’t feel like that, but I might not have the best handle on it. My immediate family is multi racial (my daughter is Asian) so I see how some stereotypes play out, but I may have some blind spots. This doesn’t feel like that to me though. If anything, I believe him more than I would, say, Max Scherzer.
 

Spelunker

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I think it's simpler than that. Not wealthy people from "good" backgrounds think that wealthy people from less "good" backgrounds have greater grasps on their finances than they actually do.

We see this over and over again, with athletes and actors and anyone that comes into crazy money suddenly. Folks start comparing it to them balancing their checkbook- because they have no frame of reference- and it's empirically not like that. Athletes get ripped off all the time.
 

lexrageorge

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I think the struggle here is that people have to accept one of two explanations (given what we know today, which is still likely an incomplete picture):

1.) Ohtani's bank account was drained by $16M without his permission or him noticing it.

2.) The FBI is for some unknown reason covering for Ohtani by declaring that there was zero evidence of him placing bets through Mizuhara.

I agree that for those of us that did not grow up to become professional athletes in a foreign country, the idea of #1 being true seems farfetched. But it is certainly plausible, far more so than the FBI deciding to cover up Ohtani's involvement, no matter how much we are tempted to over-parse the FBI's statement. Athletes and other celebrities are easy targets for scammers, and Ohtani's not the only celebrity that has seen his bank account inexplicably dwindle.

For the record, I am not saying that there is nothing further to discuss around the case. $16M is still a lot of money to go missing, and so exploring alternative explanations should not be deemed as being driven by Ohtani's race. And most of the skeptics of the official story have at least explained the reasons for their skepticism rather than just saying "Not buying the FBI's story; he must be guilty".
 
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Average Reds

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I think it's simpler than that. Not wealthy people from "good" backgrounds think that wealthy people from less "good" backgrounds have greater grasps on their finances than they actually do.

We see this over and over again, with athletes and actors and anyone that comes into crazy money suddenly. Folks start comparing it to them balancing their checkbook- because they have no frame of reference- and it's empirically not like that. Athletes get ripped off all the time.
I think this is an oversimplification, verging on being patronizing.

This isn't Jack Clarke blowing through tens of millions on his car collection at the tail end of his career. (And then going broke again twenty-five years later. He's not a savvy fellow.) This is an athlete in the prime of his career, surrounded by a team of legal/business advisors and (most likely) working with the private banking division of a major financial institution that is explicitly structured to avoid these kinds of scenarios. And yet, no one is paying attention to the fact that his interpreter has been running a multi-year scam based on his ability to control communications between the athlete and, well, everyone.

This is not the kind of case "we see over and over again."
 

changer591

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I just wanted to get one final word which is that I posed my previous message before bed and I woke up expecting some backlash, and appreciate that so far, I didn't kick a hornet's nest that resulted in some sort of attack on me and my feelings. I tried very hard so be non-accusatory and judgemental but I'm also now a lawyer where I am capable of picking and choosing the exactly correct words (there is "evidence" of that har har).
So while I imagine there are disagreements with what I wrote, I'm glad it didn't result in people saying it's bullshit that I called everyone a racist, which I attempted to carefully NOT do.
 

Rovin Romine

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I just wanted to get one final word which is that I posed my previous message before bed and I woke up expecting some backlash, and appreciate that so far, I didn't kick a hornet's nest that resulted in some sort of attack on me and my feelings. I tried very hard so be non-accusatory and judgemental but I'm also now a lawyer where I am capable of picking and choosing the exactly correct words (there is "evidence" of that har har).
So while I imagine there are disagreements with what I wrote, I'm glad it didn't result in people saying it's bullshit that I called everyone a racist, which I attempted to carefully NOT do.
I think you were petty clear that you wanted to explore the racial stereotyping aspects of this without accusing people of being racists.

I wonder though, if there isn't a more specific set of "Japanese" tropes and stereotypes that might be in play for some people, as opposed to a sort of general pan-Asian bias. Thoughts?

As far as your first post went, I don't think it would make much difference if Ohtani's background were hypothetically changed. I think it was really the press conference that raised issues and created problems. Problems to the point where people are looking carefully. Consider this possibility - If there had been no press conference, and the charges against Mizuhara had been filed out of the blue, with the accompanying affidavit we have now, do you think the public's reactions would have been different? And if so, how?
 

DJnVa

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The scale of this blows my mind. Even if the bookie believed it was Ohtani and not Ippei, how does any business let an individual run up $40 million in debt?
My favorite part is he was making $10 bets and $160,000 bets. Quite a spread.

Those $10 bets were probably some 20-team parlays trying to make some huge score.
 

Van Everyman

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It’s a good question, @changer591. The only race component that has occurred to me during all this is whether the bank just blindly assumed that a Japanese man who had Ohtani’s passwords and answered his security questions was, in fact, Ohtani.
 

changer591

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I think you were petty clear that you wanted to explore the racial stereotyping aspects of this without accusing people of being racists.

I wonder though, if there isn't a more specific set of "Japanese" tropes and stereotypes that might be in play for some people, as opposed to a sort of general pan-Asian bias. Thoughts?

As far as your first post went, I don't think it would make much difference if Ohtani's background were hypothetically changed. I think it was really the press conference that raised issues and created problems. Problems to the point where people are looking carefully. Consider this possibility - If there had been no press conference, and the charges against Mizuhara had been filed out of the blue, with the accompanying affidavit we have now, do you think the public's reactions would have been different? And if so, how?
Oh I absolutely think the two stories at the beginning added a great amount of stink to the whole thing. That being said, I do think some would still be looking for the juicy story...but I don't know for sure since that isn't what happened. I do know though that we've had many stories of famous people being defrauded. Do we ever explore how Antoine Walker ended up bankrupt? Or how Latrell Sprewell lost all his money? Do we just assume that some athletes are dumb as rocks but don't extend that same thoughts to players of Asian descent because of stereotypes?
I know the situations aren't one to one, and maybe I'm drawing comparisons that are totally unfair, but I don't think I am.
Anyway, I am going to step away from the thread like I said I was going to because so ply the question I'm posing leads me to believe that I have a strong bias in that I want Ohtani to be innocent and perhaps I'm too far the other way and am just as bad as the people thinking the FBI and MLB are in cahoots and Mizuhara volunteered to be a fall guy and eat a federal charge with real jail time for his employer.
And just to be clear, I'm not exonerating Ohtani...there were some obviously stupid decisions being made by him ultimately even with the tamest version of the truth. But I also why people think he magically has the knowledge on how to manage his non baseball life better than the next guy. We know almost nothing about him or his personal life...just like I reflect back and realize I know nothing about what Daisuke Matusaka was like in terms of intelligence level.
 

DJnVa

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Am I reading this right that he made bets that totaled $324M?? That's more than the payroll of any team in baseball. His losing bets were more than the payrolls of 19 teams in baseball.
No, you're not reading it right. The $182M in winning bets wasn't the amount he bet on them it was the amount he won. It wouldn't have taken $182M to generate that.

If I bet $10 nine times and lose, then bet once and win $100, I had $90 in losing bets, and $100 in winning ones. That's $190. But I only bet $100.

That said, it's still a lot of money.
 

ThePrideofShiner

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Oh I absolutely think the two stories at the beginning added a great amount of stink to the whole thing. That being said, I do think some would still be looking for the juicy story...but I don't know for sure since that isn't what happened. I do know though that we've had many stories of famous people being defrauded. Do we ever explore how Antoine Walker ended up bankrupt? Or how Latrell Sprewell lost all his money? Do we just assume that some athletes are dumb as rocks but don't extend that same thoughts to players of Asian descent because of stereotypes?
I know the situations aren't one to one, and maybe I'm drawing comparisons that are totally unfair, but I don't think I am.
Anyway, I am going to step away from the thread like I said I was going to because so ply the question I'm posing leads me to believe that I have a strong bias in that I want Ohtani to be innocent and perhaps I'm too far the other way and am just as bad as the people thinking the FBI and MLB are in cahoots and Mizuhara volunteered to be a fall guy and eat a federal charge with real jail time for his employer.
And just to be clear, I'm not exonerating Ohtani...there were some obviously stupid decisions being made by him ultimately even with the tamest version of the truth. But I also why people think he magically has the knowledge on how to manage his non baseball life better than the next guy. We know almost nothing about him or his personal life...just like I reflect back and realize I know nothing about what Daisuke Matusaka was like in terms of intelligence level.
I think that no one cares about Antoine Walker or Latrell Sprewell, because while they were good players who were famous, they certainly are not in the same stratosphere of Ohtani. For whatever reason, Americans like to see people who are at the top of their profession get brought down a notch.

I mean, Ohtani is being bandied about as the best player in the history of baseball. Any scandal involving him in anyway is bound to have people want to see him taken down or maybe we are all conditioned at this point to assume that all sports stars do bad shit and none of our heroes are actually heroes (Bonds, ARod, Manny, Lance Armstrong, Tom Brady [ha!], etc.).
 
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HfxBob

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I think this is an oversimplification, verging on being patronizing.

This isn't Jack Clarke blowing through tens of millions on his car collection at the tail end of his career. (And then going broke again twenty-five years later. He's not a savvy fellow.) This is an athlete in the prime of his career, surrounded by a team of legal/business advisors and (most likely) working with the private banking division of a major financial institution that is explicitly structured to avoid these kinds of scenarios. And yet, no one is paying attention to the fact that his interpreter has been running a multi-year scam based on his ability to control communications between the athlete and, well, everyone.

This is not the kind of case "we see over and over again."
The particulars of Ohtani's case are unique, but I think the other poster is right about there being plenty examples of wealthy people being ripped off for large sums due to lack of firsthand oversight/lack of attention to financial records. And the people they've entrusted with looking after these things don't always do the job well. If someone was diligently monitoring bank transactions for Ohtani, this simply couldn't have happened.
 

Red Right Ankle

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I think there's an experiential component to people not accepting that Ohtani wasn't involved.

People who have not lived long term in a place where they don't know the language may be underestimating just how much comfort someone gets from having a friend who does speak the language to help and how much trust that can engender. There are likely dozens of times a month where Mizuhara honestly helped Ohtani get through a challenging moment because of the language gap. So when they ask "how could he not have known," they refuse to accept, "because his translator was essentially his lifeline," as the answer because they may not have been in situation after situation after situation where that was true for them. It's hard to put themselves in that person's shoes.
 

jon abbey

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I think that no one cares about Antoine Walker or Latrell Sprewell, because while they were good players who were famous, they certainly are not in the same stratosphere of Ohtani. For whatever reason, Americans like to see people who are at the top of their profession get brought down a notch.
Also those both happened well after their careers were over, right? The equivalent would be Jokic or Doncic.
 

BigSoxFan

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I think there's an experiential component to people not accepting that Ohtani wasn't involved.

People who have not lived long term in a place where they don't know the language may be underestimating just how much comfort someone gets from having a friend who does speak the language to help and how much trust that can engender. There are likely dozens of times a month where Mizuhara honestly helped Ohtani get through a challenging moment because of the language gap. So when they ask "how could he not have known," they refuse to accept, "because his translator was essentially his lifeline," as the answer because they may not have been in situation after situation after situation where that was true for them. It's hard to put themselves in that person's shoes.
But it’s more than “how could Ohtani not have known”. It was also “how could nobody else around him, including his banks, not have known”. He has a team of people and they all seemingly let Mizuhara stonewall them. I assumed he had a more competent team around him. That assumption was seemingly very, very wrong. I bet there are going to be a ton of changes on his team’s governance structure coming out of this. No more silos. No more singular access.

The only reason this came to light was because Mizuhara was a degenerate gambler. If he hadn’t been, he could have seemingly just taken almost everything that Ohtani earned over the course of his career without much detection. And that’s the crazy part.

It doesn’t shock me that Ohtani isn’t close to his finances. Many athletes aren’t. But to not have anyone besides his interpreter accessing statements is the crazy part. But again, that’s no different than an English-speaking athlete letting one single person manage his/her finances. When you have a setup like that, you’re basically flashing a bright neon light asking to be robbed. Tons of examples of athletes’ business managers taking advantage of them. It’s honestly quite sad.

As a big fan of Ohtani, I’m glad the more nefarious potential answers don’t appear to be the case here. And I hope he and his team overhaul their internal controls coming out of this.
 

hatchibombotar

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How could his accountants, private bankers, lawyers and agents not have known what was going on in his account? Most likely, at least some of them did. But they figured exactly what the bookie did -- that Ohtani had a huge gambling problem -- and that it was his business.
 
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lexrageorge

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How could his accountants, private bankers, lawyers and agents not have known what was going on in his account? Most likely, at least some of them did. But they figued exactly what the bookie did -- that Ohtani had a huge gambling problem -- and that it was his business.
They didn’t necessarily have access to the account from which the funds were drawn.
 

CalSoxGal

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They didn’t necessarily have access to the account from which the funds were drawn.
In fact, that may be the only one they did not have access to. And since that was his MLB salary account, it may have been his smallest one, given that he earned so much more in endorsements. (Of course, I have no idea, and am just speculating here like everyone else.)
 

Pitt the Elder

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I didn't see this mentioned in any of the stories, but what are the chances that the Feds will be able to recover any of the $16M+ that Mizuhara stole?
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I didn't see this mentioned in any of the stories, but what are the chances that the Feds will be able to recover any of the $16M+ that Mizuhara stole?
I think they would have to recover it from Mizuhara, who stole it. The bookies didn’t steal from Ohtani. They illegally booked bets. If the government gets restitution from the bookies, which seems unlikely to start, I would think it would be a fund for all victims at most. And I am not sure how you could prioritize Ohtani over the dad who lost his mortgage or anyone else. And I am not even sure gambling participants are eligible for restitution since they engaged in illegal activity.

I guess if the bookies were found to knowingly have participated in the theft, maybe Ohtani is entitled to whatever restitution there is. But his beef is mostly with the guy who stole the money. He might have some kind of civil lawsuit against the bookies, depending on what they knew, but that seems unlikely.
 

Max Power

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Ohtani is also a lot younger than most of us fossils. He grew up in an age where there are several layers of abstraction between a person and their money. Banks and merchants have found you'll spend more if you don't have to hand out cash or write checks. With cashless payments automatic payments of all my bills, I know I could literally never go to a bank or look at my accounts and just assume everything is fine. It's not at all surprising that Ohtani knew he had millions coming in and some amount going out to cover the bills, and never really thought about keeping up on the balance beyond that.
 

DeadlySplitter

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https://www.nytimes.com/2024/04/13/business/shohei-ohtani-interpreter-details.html

This is the reporting now of where "Ohtani helped Ippei" gaffe came from - a last-ditch effort from Ippei.

“A couple of hours later, around midnight, Ohtani finally had the chance to pull Mizuhara into a conference room in the basement of the Fairmont Ambassador Hotel in Seoul.

“With just the two of them there, Mizuhara leveled with his boss: He had accrued enormous debts to the bookmaker and had been stealing the baseball star’s money to pay them off.

“In coming clean, though, Mizuhara made one last effort to protect himself from the law, according to two people familiar with the conversation, who asked for anonymity to discuss a private matter. He asked his patron to go along with the story that he had just told Ohtani’s teammates, his advisers and a reporter for ESPN who had made inquires about $4.5 million in wire transfers from Ohtani’s account to an illegal bookmaker in California.

“Ohtani refused and called his agent, Nez Balelo, into the conference room. Balelo then had several other people dial in as they managed the crisis: a lawyer in Los Angeles; Matthew Hiltzik, a crisis communications executive in New York; and a new interpreter whom Ohtani’s inner circle could trust. Mizuhara’s wife also joined the meeting.”
 

VORP Speed

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Ippei should make restitution by selling the Hollywood rights to his life. This thing will make a great true crime story. He’s like Keyser Soze to pull this off for 5 years.
 

NomarsFool

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I didn't see this mentioned in any of the stories, but what are the chances that the Feds will be able to recover any of the $16M+ that Mizuhara stole?
I don't think he has it, though. Right? I assume it all, or mostly all, went to gambling losses. It's possible he has it stashed away somewhere, but I'm assuming he's not some Ozark level money launderer on top.
 

Myt1

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There is one thing I want to get off my chest as I sat here wondering why I even give two shits about this.
And I want to make sure I'm as clear as I can be with this and I'm not outwardly accusing anyone of consciously doing this out of any sort of malice.
Here it is. Some of you may know that I'm an Asian American. I, luckily, have not appeared to suffer from too much psychological damage growing up in New England in the 80s and being subject to all the stereotypes we have...especially since I met most of them.
But I want to pose a question. If this happened to an American American or Latin American or any race, would people be conjuring up dramatic cases of criminal mastery?
Which brings me to this. Does anyone know if Ohtani is more like Greg Maddix or Jonathan Papelbon? Like...are people putting on this idea that Ohtani, because he's seemingly been built in a factory and bred for baseball, is apparently a genius with hiding his multimillion gambling habit?
I'm saying the above not as me accusing anyone at all, but more an explanation to others on why this random guy who almost never posts in the MLB forums seems to incredulous at many of the posts.
I have a feeling someone will take what I said the wrong way, and my next words may just be me trying to cover my ass. But I truly mean this...I have never once stood up for myself for race related things, so I'm certainly not too sensitive about it...but for some random reason, this did and maybe someone can explained exactly why be sure I'm not sure I do.
Editorial addition: I'm not sure I will post about this anymore because I don't want to defend myself nor attack anyone about this. I just want people to think a little bit harder about why they think that Ohtani did something criminal...and this coming from someone who still thinks something else has to drop, but not necessarily on Ohtani himself.
Interesting question. When Ortiz got shot, I vaguely recall there being an undercurrent that he was maybe involved in some shit, given some of the initial atmospherics. If anything, I think that the respect that people seem to have for Ohtani is leading them to a little, “How the fuck did he not know?!?” given the amounts involved. Notwithstanding the fact that rich people get ripped off by people they trust with some degree of frequency, of course.
 

Yo La Tengo

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How are we all feeling about these takes now? I'm not looking for internet points, and the whole saga isn't yet put to bed so maybe more details could come out that do incriminate Ohtani, though that seems unlikely now. I'm just flagging them in the hopes that maybe in the future we won't be so quick to jump to conclusions when perfectly plausible alternative explanations exist.


Because I've basically believed Shohei at every step along the way, the bolded has been the only part that's been bothering me the whole time. So apparently they did try to get access to various accounts but were repeatedly stonewalled/rebuffed by Ippei. I completely agree that it's borderline malpractice on the part of Ohtani's agent(s), and I hope process reviews are underway.
How am I feeling? Extremely surprised, a bit skeptical, and still very uncertain how Ohtani and his team of advisors/accountants could not notice the ongoing theft of $16 million dollars. But I would be happy if Ohtani is found to have been a victim and not participant since I enjoy watching him play baseball.

As for jumping to conclusions, isn't that what humans do? We're not jurors. Did you not have a reaction/expectation when you heard the initial news?
 

Cellar-Door

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Plenty of players have no idea what is going on with their money. Do people not remember Manny Ramirez who would have months worth of pay-checks just sitting in his locker?
These guys often just don't care about the money as long as it's there when they need it, the issue comes when they don't hire good people to manage it. They have a translator or an old buddy or an uncle, or their mom's friend's son who is a CPA instead of the type of large firm like the uber-rich do.
 

Max Power

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I scanned a bunch of my grandmother's old photos and came across some from their trip to New York in the 50s. It's crazy how we've gone from this to Draft Kings ads every 3 minutes.

81422
 

LogansDad

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I scanned a bunch of my grandmother's old photos and came across some from their trip to New York in the 50s. It's crazy how we've gone from this to Draft Kings ads every 3 minutes.

View attachment 81422
It was seriously less than 15 years ago that the leagues were saying there wasn't a chance in hell of a team being in Vegas because of the gambling issue.

Where we are at now is gross.
 

canderson

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I haven’t followed this closely recently but what’s this mean:

“The series of $500,000 payments Ippei Mizuhara sent from Shohei Ohtani's bank account to an illegal bookmaking operation were forwarded to California and Las Vegas casinos, where the money was deposited in gambling accounts, converted to playing chips and later cashed out to pay the bookie, multiple sources with direct knowledge of the operation told ESPN.”

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/40058806/ohtani-money-mizuhara-bookie-vegas-casino
 

Rovin Romine

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I haven’t followed this closely recently but what’s this mean:

“The series of $500,000 payments Ippei Mizuhara sent from Shohei Ohtani's bank account to an illegal bookmaking operation were forwarded to California and Las Vegas casinos, where the money was deposited in gambling accounts, converted to playing chips and later cashed out to pay the bookie, multiple sources with direct knowledge of the operation told ESPN.”

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/40058806/ohtani-money-mizuhara-bookie-vegas-casino
Essentially money laundering - it breaks the chain of transactions.
 

changer591

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I haven’t followed this closely recently but what’s this mean:

“The series of $500,000 payments Ippei Mizuhara sent from Shohei Ohtani's bank account to an illegal bookmaking operation were forwarded to California and Las Vegas casinos, where the money was deposited in gambling accounts, converted to playing chips and later cashed out to pay the bookie, multiple sources with direct knowledge of the operation told ESPN.”

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/40058806/ohtani-money-mizuhara-bookie-vegas-casino
I just read the whole article. Holy cow. I don't even care about the Ohtani involvement anymore...this is some crazy shit.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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I just read the whole article. Holy cow. I don't even care about the Ohtani involvement anymore...this is some crazy shit.
Same here, I was just at Resorts World last year and that former president could be going away for up to 5 years from being a friendly haven for money launderers. It's eye-opening how keeping sports betting underground in California could be impacting Vegas casinos in a non-sportsbook way. (If this bookie is any indication how the rest of the illegal syndicates operate.)
 

SuperManny

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I was just reading that story as well, no idea what their friendship is but the story indicates they were close and another teammate betting with the same bookie is certainly suspicious

David Fletcher, a former Los Angeles Angels infielder currently playing for the Atlanta Braves' Triple-A affiliate, and his friend, who also played in the minor leagues, both bet on sports with the Southern California bookmaker who took wagers from Shohei Ohtani's longtime interpreter, according to multiple sources detailing the activities.

Fletcher, who was Ohtani's teammate from 2018 to 2023 and has been described as one of his closest friends in baseball, placed bets with the bookmaking operation of Mathew Bowyer, according to the sources. Ohtani's former interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, also bet with Bowyer and eventually stole nearly $17 million from the Japanese superstar to feed his addiction, according to prosecutors.

Fletcher's close friend, Colby Schultz, who played in the Kansas City Royals' system from 2018 to 2020, placed bets on baseball, including on Angels games that Fletcher played in while he was on the team, multiple sources told ESPN.

Fletcher bet on several sports but not baseball, according to multiple sources.
 

radsoxfan

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 9, 2009
14,188
I was just reading that story as well, no idea what their friendship is but the story indicates they were close and another teammate betting with the same bookie is certainly suspicious
Other places online I've seen Fletcher called Ohtani's "best friend" or "one of his best friends" on the team.

Shohei is one very naive and oblivious guy.... it would seem.