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Alleged Mango Markets Exploiter Placed in Custody in Puerto Rico

2 mins
By Eduardo Venegas
Translated Shraddha Sharma
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In Brief

  • Accused Mango Markets exploiter was arrested in Puerto Rico.
  • Avraham Eisenberg did not act alone.
  • Eisenberg admitted to being the mastermind of the October hack.
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The United States Department of Justice announced the arrest of Mango Markets exploiter Avraham Eisenberg in Puerto Rico.

Eisenberg is accused of carrying out the $110 million Mango Markets crypto exchange exploit in October of this year. The hacker has charges against him in the Southern District Court of New York.

Accused on Counts of Fraud and Manipulation

Damian Williams, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and assistant U.S. attorneys Thomas Burnett and Noah Solowiejczyk ordered the arrest of Eisenberg.

The Department of Justice complaint dated Dec. 27 states:

“I have attached complaint 22 Mag. 10337, which charges Avraham Eisenberg with market manipulation offences. The complaint is sealed. Last night, the defendant was arrested in the District of Puerto Rico and will be presented later today. A proposed Order unsealing the complaint is enclosed for the Court’s consideration.”

The 22 Mag. 10337 filing accuses Eisenberg of two counts. Count one is for commodities fraud, while count two is for commodities manipulation.

Following the hack in October, Avraham Eisenberg acknowledged being the mastermind behind the more than $100 million exploit on the Mango Markets platform. Interestingly, he even defended himself by arguing that the hack of the platform was actually all within the bounds of the law:

“I believe all of our actions were legal open market actions, using the protocol as designed, even if the development team did not fully anticipate all the consequences of setting parameters the way they are.”

Mango Markets Exploit Was a Team Effort

Avraham Eisenberg acted with others, leading a team to carry out the exploit of the decentralized exchange Mango Markets. He manipulated the price of the native MNGO token to buy a massive position. The hacker also artificially inflated prices by up to 1,300%, allowing him to borrow other tokens as collateral. Around the time, he said that he was negotiating a settlement agreement with the insurance fund. But, at no time did he show any intention of returning it.

The U.S. Department of Justice arrest request emphasized:

“AVRAHAM EISENBERG, the defendant, did knowingly and intentionally manipulate and attempt to manipulate the price of a commodity in interstate commerce, and for future delivery on and subject to the rules of a registered entity, and of a swap, to wit, EISENBERG engaged in a scheme involving the intentional and artificial manipulation of the price of perpetual futures contracts on a cryptocurrency exchange called Mango Markets.”

BeInCrypto reported on the incident in late October after Eisenberg claimed to “not care” about the criticism he had received for his actions.

He even argued that lending platforms are willing to lend at the current price of a token. In November, Eisenberg attempted to replicate the exploit on Aave but was unsuccessful.

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Shraddha Sharma
Shraddha is an India-based journalist who worked in business and financial news before diving into the crypto space. As an investment enthusiast, she has also has a keen interest in understanding crypto from a personal finance standpoint.
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