Mango Markets hacker arrested in Puerto Rico, details inside

Avraham Eisenberg, the man responsible for the exploitation of Mango Markets, has been arrested in Puerto Rico. The self-proclaimed game theorist led a $110 million exploit on the decentralized exchange back in October. 

FBI brings criminal charges against Eisenberg

According to a recently unsealed filing made with the Southern District of New York, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has charged the Mango Markets exploiter with one count of commodities fraud and one count of commodities manipulation. If proven guilty, he may have to face prison time. 

Avraham Eisenberg, who is technically a U.S. resident, had fled to Israel a day after carrying out the hundred-million-dollar exploit. According to FBI Special Agent Brandon Racz, Eisenberg “willfully and knowingly” deployed a malicious strategy in order to artificially manipulate prices on the DeFi exchange. 

“Eisenberg engaged in a scheme involving the intentional and artificial manipulation of the price of perpetual futures contracts on a cryptocurrency exchange called Mango Markets, and other manipulative and deceptive devices and contrivances,” the filing read. 

According to a second filing made by Damian Williams, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Eisenberg’s case will be heard by U.S. Magistrate Judge Katherine Parker. 

Avraham Eisenberg’s DeFi exploits

Four days after carrying out the exploit on Mango Markets, Avraham Eisenberg acknowledged his actions on Twitter. He referred to the hack as a “highly profitable trading strategy” that was deployed by his team. He further stated that his actions were “legal open market actions.”

Eisenberg’s highly profitable exploit rendered Mango Markets insolvent. Users were unable to withdraw their funds due to his actions. On 15 October, the DEX negotiated a partial return of funds, precisely $67 million. Eisenberg’s team managed to walk away with more than $40 million. 

He struck again in November, this time targeting decentralized lending protocol Aave. He tried to replicate the exploit by borrowing millions of Curve DAO tokens (CRV) from Aave’s already illiquid pool, with the intention to short-sell them. The plan, however, backfired and led to a seven figure loss for Eisenberg.