Mango Labs v Eisenberg: Crypto Exchange Sues Its Hacker

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The Solana-based decentralized exchange (DEX) Mango Labs sued Avraham Eisenberg for its “profitable trading strategy.” The individual exploited a vulnerability in the platform allowing him to profit to the detriment of Mango Markets and its users. 

In October 2022, the trading platform Mango Markets reported an anomaly peer in a tweet. The platform investigated an incident where a hacker could drain funds from Mango through a service called an “oracle,” allowing a bad actor to manipulate the price of an asset. 

The cryptocurrency exchange’s immediate security response was to disable front-end deposits as a precautionary measure and to inform its users to avoid any deposits until the situation became more evident.

In addition, the exchange released a proposal to the then-anonymous hacker, where the amounts of debt payment and procedures for seeking a solution were subjected to a DAO poll. 

Decentralized Finance (DeFi) detectives from the blockchain security firm OtterSec cracked that the trader, later identified as Eisenberg, funded an account with $5.5 million USDC collateral from FTX. The attacker created a 480 million MNGO PERP (perpetual future) position and counter-traded himself on another account, manipulating the price of MNGO and increasing the value of his collateral. 

In less than 24 hours, independent investigator Chris Brunet revealed the man’s identity behind one of the most significant losses in manipulating Mango Markets. 

Crypto Hacker Or Profitable Trader?

On October 15, 2022, Eisenberg stated that he was involved with a team that ran a “highly” profitable and legal trading strategy a few days after the event. Eisenberg’s actions were controversial; some called him a profitable trader, while others considered him a bad actor. 

In December 2022, Avraham Eisenberg was arrested in Puerto Rico by the U.S. Department of Justice; he was accused of carrying out a $110 million exploit of the Mango Markets crypto exchange and fraud and manipulation with charges in the Southern District of New York.

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Burnett ordered the arrest. 

Later, Eisenberg agreed to return $67 million of the profits after the incident. Mango Market claimed in a federal lawsuit that the trader keeps retaining the profits he gained with its “profitable trading strategy.” The Solana-based crypto exchange is looking to recover the funds they consider stolen.

Solana SOL SOLUSDT Crypto Mango Labs
SOL’s price trends to the upside on the daily chart. Source: SOLUSDT Tradingview

U.S. Law Enforcement Agencies Go Against Einseberg

On January 21 this year, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) charged Avraham Eisenberg with securities manipulation.  Also, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Commodities Future Trading Commission (CFTC) accused Eisenberg of fraud, manipulation, and violation of the country’s commodities regulations. 

Mango Market continues to claim that Avraham Eisenberg is attempting to illegally keep the rest of the money he made from the so-called “Mango Scheme,” according to a court filing.

Eisenberg is awaiting sentencing in Puerto Rico, where he was arrested last year. The perpetrator of the “Mango Scheme” is being prosecuted in the Southern District of New York on the charges above:

(…) Defendant, Who Was Arrested and Jailed in a Federal Prison in Puerto Rico, Is Awaiting Transport to NYC On Parallel Criminal Charges.

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