Mango Markets exploiter trial heads to jury

After hearing the evidence presented during the trial, the jury is now considering their verdict on accusations against Avraham “Avi” Eisenberg for market manipulation and fraud linked to an $110 million scheme involving the Mango Markets decentralized exchange.

In the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on April 17, Judge Richard Berman dismissed the jury for the day after both prosecution and defense had presented their closing arguments. The jury will resume deliberations the next day to decide if Eisenberg is responsible for commodities fraud and manipulation following a two-week trial.

In October 2022, it is alleged that Eisenberg made a string of significant purchases on Mango Markets, causing the token’s price to rise unusually against USD Coin (USDC). After artificially inflating the price, Eisenberg reportedly withdrew the assets from the platform. U.S. officials took Eisenberg into custody in Puerto Rico in December 2022, accusing him of intentionally and knowingly orchestrating a scheme to manipulate the prices of perpetual futures on Mango Markets.

At the final stage of the trial on April 17, Eisenberg’s lawyers presented their case by stating that their client didn’t break any laws but rather executed a profitable and legitimate trading technique, generating approximately $110 million in profits. In contrast, the prosecution team insisted that Eisenberg was compelled to deceive people as part of his scheme, implying that fraud was an integral component of his plans.

According to reports from Inner City Press, Eisenberg’s lawyer stated that “My client strictly adhered to Mango Markets’ smart contract terms. He withdrew only his own funds and did not borrow any more. Any remaining funds were returned promptly. The label of ‘brazen’ does not equate to criminal behavior. Eisenberg did not illegally access Mango Markets’ system.”

After discovering the security breach, Eisenberg restored $67 million in cryptocurrency to Mango Markets. However, he argued that he acquired the rest of the funds through legitimate means.

Defense lawyers explained, “He managed a total of $110 million. Yet, he intended to give back the amount. In the realm of cryptocurrencies, this is how transactions occur. Specifically, he transferred $67 million. The remaining portion represented the earnings.”

The jury may deliver their decision in the ongoing case by no later than April 18. It’s been proposed that Eisenberg could be sentenced to a maximum of 20 years behind bars if proven guilty. His detainment began in January 2023.

Besides being accused of criminal offenses, Eisenberg is also subject to civil lawsuits filed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. These legal proceedings have been suspended, or “stayed,” until after the resolution of the criminal trial.

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2024-04-18 00:56