Alleged Mango Markets Exploiter Fights To Keep $47M 'Bug Bounty'

Alleged Mango Markets Exploiter Fights To Keep $47M 'Bug Bounty'

9 months ago

The Justice Department, CFTC and SEC may call him a market manipulator, but Avraham Eisenberg has no intention of backing down.

Alleged Mango Markets Exploiter Fights To Keep $47M 'Bug Bounty'


Avraham Eisenberg does not intend to give back the $47 million the decentralized finance protocol Mango Markets agreed he could keep without a fight.

In a Feb. 15 court filing, the alleged market manipulator asked a federal judge in Manhattan not to grant an emergency injunction freezing those funds, arguing that the agreement the Mango Markets DAO members approved allowing him to keep the funds settled the matter.

The Mango Markets DAO agreed in exchange for the return of $67 million of the $114 million he made by making huge trades on other platforms that artificially drove the price of Mango's MNGO token up 1,300%.

Eisenberg then used MNGO to borrow all the other tokens available on the platform, a venue to lend, borrow, swap, and leverage-trade crypto assets.

That made Mango Market insolvent and would have wiped out its users.

While many called him an exploiter, Eisenberg called his actions a "highly profitable trading strategy" that followed the protocol's rules in an unexpected way.
The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission all called it market manipulation. The first charged him criminally and the later two sued him civilly.

Mango Jumps Aboard

Following that, Mango Markets developer Mango Labs sued Eisenberg, saying it only agreed to his deal under "duress," rendering it null and void.

Eisenberg's attorneys accused the DAO and Mango Labs of "feigning supposed 'irreparable' injury from alleged economic losses arising from an October 2022 settlement and release agreement."

The "only explanation" for filing the suit three months after the fact is, they said:

"It wants to take advantage of Mr Eisenberg's detention since late December 2022 on criminal charges relating to his trading with Mango Markets."

Which is not an unreasonable assumption, regardless of whether doing so is appropriate or not. The settlement in which Eisenberg gave back $67 million to make other users whole and recapitalize Mango Markets required it to characterize the remaining $47 million as a bug bounty and agree not to press charges. Something that was not at all binding on the FBI and Justice Department, it turned out.

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