Feb 16, 2023

Eisenberg Seeks to Keep Crypto Gains from “Highly Profitable” DeFi Attack

Avraham Eisenberg, the alleged perpetrator of the decentralized finance protocol Mango Markets, is seeking to retain his share of the crypto assets he acquired through a purported “highly profitable trading strategy.” On Feb. 15, attorneys for Eisenberg filed a motion in a New York District Court objecting to a lawsuit from Mango that seeks $47 million in damages plus interest due to the October attack, which drained around $117 million from the protocol.

Eisenberg’s attorneys argued that a settlement agreement with Mango DAO should be honored, and that “all involved considered this matter closed.” The agreement saw Eisenberg retain a portion of the pilfered funds — $47 million — as a bug bounty, and Mango would not pursue legal action.

Mango, on the other hand, said the settlement should be voided as it was made “under duress” and alleged Eisenberg “was not engaged in lawful bargaining.” Eisenberg’s attorneys rebuffed these claims, saying the “improper three-month delay” for Mango filing its suit “undermines any alleged irreparable harm.”

Eisenberg was last seen publicly on a podcast in late October, just weeks after his alleged exploit of the platform. Following the draining of its treasury, a governance proposal was passed by the Mango DAO.

Eisenberg has previously stated his trades on Mango were “legal open market actions, using the protocol as designed,” and called his purported attack a “highly profitable trading strategy.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation charged Eisenberg with commodities fraud and manipulation in December. He is also facing a lawsuit from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission that alleges market manipulation, and a suit from the Securities and Exchange Commission for violating securities laws relating to anti-fraud and market manipulation.

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