Shohei Ohtani says his interpreter stole money from his account and 'told lies'

On Monday, Los Angeles Dodgers superstar Shohei Ohtani denied involvement in the sports betting incident involving his former interpreter, portraying it as betrayal.  

Last Monday, Ohtani's translator, Ippei Mizuhara, 39, was sacked after Ohtani's attorneys claimed a “massive theft.” Mizuhara is under IRS criminal investigation and MLB internal investigation.  

“I’m very saddened and shocked that someone I trusted has done this,” Ohtani said Monday.  

The pitcher, wearing a Dodgers hoodie and cap, criticized his former translator over the controversy, which includes charges Mizuhara stole money from Ohtani to wager with a bookie.  

The interpreter replied, "Ippei has been stealing money from my account and has told lies," Ohtani claimed in Japanese.  

He said he "never went through a bookmaker to bet on sports." In Japan, Mizuhara met Ohtani while working as an interpreter for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters in the Nippon Professional Baseball league, according to Rookie Ohtani joined the team in 2013.  

A source told NBC News that Mizuhara was accused of wire transfers from Ohtani's account totaling at least $4.5 million, made in at least nine payments of $500,000.   

The transfers were made to a Southern California bookmaking operation run by Matthew Bowyer of Orange County, California. That operation is under federal investigation.  

The interpreter's source said Mizuhara initially told the pitcher's reps that he had been gambling and accumulated a lot of debt, causing him to beg Ohtani for a bailout.  

According to the pitcher, he was never asked to save the interpreter. "Up until a couple days ago, I didn’t know that this was happening," said Ohtani. The pitcher said Mizuhara confessed to sending money to a bookmaker.