Baseball Player Accused of Making Improper Bets with Embattled Bookie: ESPN

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An MLB player made pro sports wagers with the same bookie who took bets from the disgraced translator used by Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani, according to a new report.

Baseball player David Fletcher, pictured above. He allegedly made questionable bets. (Image: Sports Illustrated)

David Fletcher, who like Ohtani, used to play for the Los Angeles Angels, placed bets with California-based bookmaker Mathew Bowyer, ESPN reported on Friday.

Fletcher bet on various sporting events but not on baseball, the report revealed.

Fletcher and Ohtani were described by sources as close friends, the report revealed. Both played for the Angels between 2018 and 2023.

Fletcher is currently playing for the Atlanta Braves’ Triple-A affiliate Gwinnett Stripers.

In 2021, Fletcher, an infielder, was given a $26M, five-year contract extension by the Angels. But in December he was traded to the Braves.

Colby Schultz Bets

It also was reported that Colby Schultz, who has played for a minor league team affiliated with the Kansas City Royals, wagered on Angels games and other sporting events via Bowyer.

Schultz had played as a shortstop, leftfielder, and second baseman.

Schultz and Fletcher were close friends, ESPN reported.

MLB players can’t make wagers on pro baseball games under league rules. Pro baseball players and MLB employees can make wagers on non-baseball sporting events. But they can’t place these wagers via illegal bookies, ESPN reported.

Mizuhara Scandal

A scandal recently unfolded after Ohtani’s interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, became heavily in debt and stole about $16M from Ohtani to cover gambling losses, authorities said. Mizuhara has pled not guilty in a California criminal case but is reportedly planning to agree to a plea deal in connection with the theft.

He faces up to 33 years in prison if he’s convicted, according to ESPN. Mizuhara was charged with single counts of bank fraud and submitting a false tax return.

In total, Mizuhara racked up gambling debts estimated at $40.7M. He was fired by the Dodgers after the theft was revealed.

Ohtani was never accused of wrongdoing, but was seen as the victim of a crime.

Money from Mizuhara made its way into accounts both at Resorts World Las Vegas and Pechanga Resort Casino, a tribal gaming property in Southern California.

Mizhuhara was never a customer at Resorts World Las Vegas, according to an internal casino memo. However, Bowyer was a frequent guest of Resorts World Las Vegas and is rumored to have lost almost $8M at the integrated resort between June 2022 and October 2023.

Bowyer hasn’t been charged with a crime, but he’s being investigated by federal officials, according to NBC News.

Mizuhara initially met Bowyer at a 2021 poker game in San Diego where Fletcher was also present, ESPN reported.

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