Friday, June 14, 2024

Shohei Ohtani’s former Angels teammate accused of making illegal sports bets: report

Must read

David Fletcher, an MLB infielder who currently plays in the Atlanta Braves organization, reportedly bet on sports using the same bookmaker as Shohei Ohtani’s former trainer, Ippei Mizuhara.

Fletcher played for the Los Angeles Angels from 2018 to 2023 and was a teammate of Ohtani’s during that span. Ohtani and Fletcher both left the Angels following the 2023 season. Ohtani signed a massive contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the offseason, and Fletcher joined the Braves, later being optioned to their Triple-A affiliate.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM

Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) and second baseman David Fletcher (22) celebrated their 3-2 win over the Minnesota Twins. (Aaron Lavinsky, Star Tribune via Getty Images)

Fletcher made bets through bookie Matthew Bowyer but never bet on baseball, ESPN reported Friday night. Colby Schultz, a friend of Fletcher’s who played in the Kansas City Royals’ organization from 2018 to 2020, reportedly placed bets on baseball games, including Angels games when Fletcher was on the team.

MLB, the Braves, Fletcher and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California declined to comment on the matter, ESPN reported. Schultz didn’t immediately respond to a message from Fox News Digital.

Fletcher previously noted that he and Ohtani were “good friends,” back on March 18.

According to the report, MLB players and employees can bet on sports other than baseball, but those who place wagers through illegal bookmakers could be punished by the commissioner’s office. Players who bet on baseball games they didn’t play in could be punished for a year, and those who bet on games they did play in could be permanently banned from the sport.

Shohei Ohtani and David Fletcher in the dugout

Shohei Ohtani, #17 of the Los Angeles Angels, talks with David Fletcher #22 in the dugout during the game against the Houston Astros at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 4, 2022, in Anaheim, California. (Meg Oliphant/Getty Images))

INSIDE PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT’S QUEST TO RECAPTURE MVP FORM: ‘THERE’S NOT A MAGIC PILL’

Shohei Ohtani and David Fletcher in 2021

David Fletcher, #22, and Shohei Ohtani #17, of the Los Angeles Angels, react after Fletcher’s home run against the Seattle Mariners during the third inning at T-Mobile Park on July 11, 2021, in Seattle, Washington. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Ohtani was caught up in a betting scandal earlier this season as his former interpreter was accused of stealing money from the star baseball player’s bank account to pay off debts.

Mizuhara appeared in federal court on Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to the charges as a formality in the case. 

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Ohtani with interpreter

Shohei Ohtani, right, of the Los Angeles Dodgers speaks to the media with the help of his interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, during DodgerFest a celebration of the upcoming season with live entertainment, behind-the-scenes experiences, food, drinks and meeting the newest Dodgers at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Saturday, February 3, 2024.  (Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images)

He’s accused of stealing nearly $17 million from Ohtani. He signed a plea agreement that detailed the allegations on May 5, and prosecutors announced it days later.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Follow Fox News Digital’s sports coverage on X, and subscribe to the Fox News Sports Huddle newsletter.

Latest article