Mango Markets exploiter found guilty after jury deliberations

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A jury has found Avraham “Avi” Eisenberg, the crypto user responsible for a $110 million exploit of the Mango Markets decentralized exchange, guilty of fraud and market manipulation.

In an April 18 ruling in United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, a group of jurors announced that Eisenberg had been found guilty of wire fraud, commodities fraud and commodities manipulation. The decision followed hours of deliberations after closing arguments on April 17.

During a two-week trial, Eisenberg’s legal team claimed that he did not commit any crimes but orchestrated a “successful and legal trading strategy,” which resulted in roughly $110 million from Mango Markets. He returned roughly $67 million of the funds after the exploit but retained more than $40 million following a governance vote by the community. Prosecutors argued that Eisenberg’s actions constituted fraud.

It’s unclear when Judge Richard Berman could decide on sentencing for Eisenberg, who now faces up to 20 years in prison. After his actions on Mango Markets in October 2022, Eisenberg was arrested in Puerto Rico in December and held in U.S. custody since January 2023.

With a verdict handed down in the criminal trial, Eisenberg will likely face civil enforcement actions filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in 2023. Both cases had been stayed and could resume two weeks after the conclusion of the criminal case.

Related: Mango Markets exploiter said actions were ‘legal,’ but were they?

U.S. authorities have several ongoing criminal cases pending against high-profile figures in the crypto space. In March, a judge sentenced former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried to 25 years in prison for his conviction on seven felony charges, though his lawyers have filed notice they intended to appeal. Former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao is scheduled to be sentenced on April 30 for pleading guilty to one felony charge.

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