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Who is Orange County bookie who received millions of dollars from Shohei Ohtani's account?

While baseball fans across the country were wondering whether then-Los Angeles Angel Shohei Ohtani would sign with a different team in October 2023, federal investigators were looking into another person in Orange County.

The home of 48-year-old Mathew Bowyer in San Juan Capistrano was raided by authorities with a search warrant on their hands, taking his computers, phones and other electronic devices. That was because Bowyer was a target of a federal investigation for allegedly running a bookmaking operation out of Southern California.

Bowyer’s attorney confirmed to NBC Los Angeles that Bower was a bookmaker who placed bets with Ippei Mizuhara, the former interpreter of Ohtani. A source also told NBC news Mizuhara ended up becoming the baseball star’s longtime friend, often serving as a gatekeeper for the two-way player.

“The most important thing I want people to know is Mr. Bowyer never met Shohei,” Diane Bass, Bowyer’s attorney said. “The only person he dealt with was Ippei.”

Bass said she became representing Bowyer after the federal raid in October.

The former interpreter for Ohtani and other professional athletes met Bowyer through a mutual friend in San Diego in 2022, according to the attorney.

“According to Matt, Ippei is a man of very few words,” said Bass who also confirmed Mizuhara would place bets on international soccer.

After Mizuhara became Bowyer’s client, the two mostly correspond via text messaging and sometimes in person. 

Previous court records show Bowyer filed for bankruptcy back in 2011, listing $425,000 gambling losses at the Cosmopolitan and Aria casinos.

Although his attorney said Bowyer has not been officially charged with any crime, the San Juan Capistrano resident is under a federal investigation, the IRS confirmed. Muzuhara is also being investigated by the IRS, the agency said. 

Shohei Ohtani’s interpreter and close friend was fired by the Los Angeles Dodgers following allegations of illegal gambling and theft from the Japanese baseball star, and the IRS said Thursday he is under investigation.


Source: NBC Los Angeles

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