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  • This morning, mounting questions over Shohei Otani's relationship with his longtime interpreter.

  • Ippei Mizuhara was fired by the Dodgers Wednesday after bombshell reports of his alleged connection to a potentially illegal gambling scheme,

  • including allegations that baseball's biggest star has been the victim of a massive theft.

  • The controversy stemming from a report in the LA Times that Otani's name came up during a federal investigation into an alleged illegal bookmaker Mathew Bowyer in California.

  • It could bring criminal charges against someone who was in the very limited trusted circle of the biggest player in Major League Baseball.

  • According to the AP, the IRS has now confirmed that the interpreter and Bowyer are both under criminal investigation.

  • A person familiar with Otani and Mizuhara interactions telling NBC News more than $4.5 million was sent from Otani's account to an associate of the alleged bookie

  • But questions remain about what Otani knew about the transfer and when?

  • ESPN reporting that the player's own spokesman originally told the outlet that Otani transferred the funds and set up a 90-minute interview with Mizuhara where he said the same.

  • But the next day, the spokesman disavowed Mizuhara's account and the interpreter also walked back his story.

  • Now, what happened during that time? We do not know yet.

  • And why this story changed so quickly.

  • The source familiar with their interactions told NBC News that Mizuhara originally told Otani's representatives that the player had agreed to cover his debts.

  • The interpreter telling Otani's team that Otani had been angry with him but agreed on the condition that Mizuhara would never gamble again.

  • But later the source says Mizuhara said that story was untrue.

  • The source now telling NBC Otani found out about the story at this week's Dodgers game in South Korea, where the two were seen joking.

  • Lawyers for the baseball superstar only saying he was the victim of a massive theft while the alleged bookmaker's attorney saying Otani was not involved.

  • Mr. Bowyer never met Shohei Otani, never spoke with Shohei Otani. The only person he dealt with was Ippei.

  • Now, as for what happens next, experts say Major League Baseball could open an internal investigation into the matter.

  • Mizuhara has not responded to NBC's request for comment.

  • Neither he nor Otani have been charged with a crime and no betting on baseball has been alleged.

  • The Dodgers next play on Sunday against the Angels, Ohtani's former team. Guys.

  • Alright, Liz Kreutz, thank you.

  • It feels like this is just the beginning of the story.

  • Yeah, I agree with you. It's a complicated story too.

This morning, mounting questions over Shohei Otani's relationship with his longtime interpreter.

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