Ohtani's ex-interpreter reportedly faces IRS criminal probe

The Associated Press has reported the recently fired interpreter for Major League Baseball star Ohtani Shohei is under criminal investigation by US tax authorities.

Mizuhara Ippei was dismissed by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday as US media outlets reported allegations that he gambled illegally.

The reports say Mizuhara had debts from wagering on sports and that about 4.5 million dollars have been transferred from Ohtani's bank account to pay the bookmaker under investigation.

The Associated Press said a spokesperson for the Internal Revenue Service confirmed on Thursday that Mizuhara and unlicensed bookmaker Mathew Bowyer are under criminal investigation.

The report also quoted Bowyer's attorney as saying his client never had contact with Ohtani, including on the phone. The report also said she confirmed Bowyer's home was searched in October.

The Associated Press said it was unable to reach Mizuhara for comment and that the gambling scandal could be one of the biggest for US professional baseball.