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Crypto Trader Convicted in Mango Markets Manipulation Case

In 2022, following his conviction for manipulating the Solana DeFi platform Mango Markets, Avraham Eisenberg fled the United States with the illicit funds.

On Thursday, a jury in Manhattan’s federal court found Avraham Eisenberg guilty of commodities fraud, commodities manipulation, and wire fraud related to a scheme that exploited the Mango Markets cryptocurrency exchange, resulting in a theft of $110 million. Eisenberg, 28, faces up to 20 years in prison, with sentencing scheduled for July 29 by Judge Arun Subramanian of the New York District Court.

Prosecutors described Eisenberg’s actions on October 11, 2022, as a calculated maneuver using Mango Markets—a Solana-based decentralized finance (DeFi) platform—to manipulate market prices. Eisenberg executed trades that inflated the price of Mango’s native token, MNGO, by over 1,000%, using these artificially enhanced values as collateral to withdraw various cryptocurrencies from the platform.

Following the theft, Eisenberg, initially under an alias, proposed a settlement to the Mango Markets DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization), offering to return $67 million in exchange for immunity from prosecution and retention of the remaining funds. This proposal was ultimately declined by the DAO.

The defense, led by attorney Brian Klein, argued that Eisenberg’s trading activities were within the legal boundaries set by the decentralized platform’s rules. However, this was countered by evidence presented at trial, including Eisenberg’s prior internet searches on market manipulation and fraud, suggesting foreknowledge and intent of wrongdoing.

The verdict marks a significant milestone in the U.S. Department of Justice’s efforts to tackle financial fraud in the cryptocurrency space, emphasizing the application of traditional legal frameworks to emerging financial technologies.

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