On Friday, Major League Baseball stated it's investigating claims about the Dodgers' star Shohei Ohtani's translator. It comes after rumors of him being involved in a theft and gambling scandal.

The MLB has announced that they're actively gathering facts about the allegations against Shohei Ohtani and Ippei Mizuhara. The MLB’s Department of Investigations has formally initiated an inquiry into the case as of Friday, though they've not released further specifics. Neither Ohtani's representatives nor the Los Angeles Dodgers immediately commented on the MLB investigation on Friday.

Dodgers interpreter scandal

Reports emerged in various media outlets on Thursday, warranting the Dodgers' attention. The team has since acknowledged these reports and confirmed the termination of interpreter Ippei Mizuhara. However, they have refrained from providing any additional comments on the matter.

According to The Los Angeles Times and ESPN, the reported scandal first broke on Wednesday. ESPN suggests that the interpreter was let go due to media queries about his potential connections to illegal gambling.

The claims against Mizuhara are mainly about money transfers from Ohtani's bank account. These payments, which total around $4.5 million, were paid in separate installments of $500,000. The money was sent to a gambling operation in Southern California. Federal authorities are currently scrutinizing this organization.

Matthew Bowyer, an Orange County, California resident, is believed to be headed this operation. As reported by NBC News, this information comes from a person who knows about the interactions between Ohtani and Mizuhara. The source said that Ohtani sent money transfers to someone who knows Bowyer.

A source claimed that Mizuhara admitted to Ohtani's team that he had a massive gambling debt and asked Ohtani to help him pay. The source also stated that Mizuhara said Ohtani was initially angry because he detests gambling. However, Ohtani allegedly agreed to cover the debt under the condition that Mizuhara stop gambling for good.

Following the season-opening game against the San Diego Padres in Seoul, a source revealed that Mizuhara warned the Dodgers team about forthcoming gambling media reports. From this announcement, Ohtani understood enough to gather that Mizuhara was referencing some gambling issue and pressed his interpreter for further clarity.

When the press began asking questions, Mizuhara confessed to Ohtani's agent and other representatives that his initial explanation wasn't true.

According to Mizuhara, Ohtani was unaware of his gambling habits and debts. Mizuhara supposedly took much money from Ohtani without his permission or knowledge. He allegedly transferred this sum to an associate involved in bookmaking throughout last year. The source confirmed that the authorities are aware of the matter but did not provide more details.

Unfiled reports in Ohtani case, inside Mizuhara's role

Four law enforcement departments, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, the Anaheim Police Department, and the Newport Beach Police Department, informed NBC News that they have no records or information related to a police report or crime report filed by Ohtani. This includes any place where he lives, plays, or registers his business.

NBC News attempted to contact Mizuhara to hear his side of the accusations. Mizuhara and Ohtani's relationship started back in Japan in 2013. At that time, Mizuhara was an interpreter for the Hokkaidō Nippon-Ham Fighters of Japan's premier baseball league when Ohtani was a new recruit to the team, as reported by Nippon.com.

When Ohtani joined the Los Angeles Angels in 2017, he chose Mizuhara as his interpreter. Over time, their relationship grew beyond professional boundaries. Mizuhara became a close friend and an essential person in Ohtani's life, managing several matters for the baseball player.

Before the season starts, the Dodgers will play practice games against the Angels, Ohtani's old team, on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Their next official match is against the St. Louis Cardinals on March 28.