Avraham Eisenberg Charged with Fraud, Market Manipulation

The DOJ uses other words to describe Eisenberg's "highly profitable trading strategy."

Avraham Eisenberg Charged with Fraud, Market Manipulation
Cover by Mariia Kozyr

Key Takeaways

  • Avraham Eisenberg was arrested in Puerto Rico yesterday.
  • He is accused of commodities fraud and market manipulation.
  • Eisenberg and his team were behind the $100 million Mango Markets exploit.

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Avi Eisenberg may have been too clever for his own good when he publicly revealed he was responsible for the Mango Markets exploit in October. It turns out the FBI was listening.

“A Highly Profitable Trading Strategy”

The Department of Justice has moved against another notorious crypto figure.

Avraham Eisenberg was reportedly apprehended by law enforcement yesterday in Puerto Rico for his role in the Mango Markets exploit that made him famous on Crypto Twitter in October. The affidavit indicates that Eisenberg is facing one count of commodities fraud and one count of commodities manipulation. 

Mango Markets is a decentralized perpetual exchange on Solana. On October 11, Eisenberg and his trading partners took out a large position in Mango’s perpetual futures contracts, thereby artificially inflating the price of the illiquid MNGO token from $0.3 to $0.91. They then used their significant unrealised profits as collateral to borrow the protocol’s assets, and drained over $100 million from its treasury.

The exploiters subsequently submitted a proposal in the Mango governance forum to give back the majority of the funds (and therefore make Mango depositors whole) in exchange for $47 million and the promise of dropping any criminal investigation. Shortly after the proposal passed, Eisenberg announced on Twitter that he had been responsible for the exploit, famously declaring that he had “operated a highly profitable trading strategy” the previous week. 

Eisenberg’s open and brazen attitude may not have done him any favors. The affidavit against him specifically mentions Eisenberg’s “highly profitable trading strategy” tweet, along with several others that show that Eisenberg was aware of laws prohibiting market manipulation. 

So far, the case against Eisenberg solely concerns the Mango Markets exploit; however, the trader is also suspected by the crypto community of having run similar schemes on Curve, Fortress DAO, and Solend. Further indictments may be on the way.

Disclaimer: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and several other crypto assets.

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