The accused exploiter Avraham Eisenberg launched legal efforts to retain $47 million in digital assets hacked from the DeFi platform Mango Markets.
Eisenberg’s legal team argued that the two parties had agreed for the alleged attacker to keep the funds while returning $67 million out of the $114 million reported stolen.
Mango Labs countered this claim, saying that the governance vote backing this agreement was made “under duress” and that users had no choice.
The accused Mango Markets’ exploiter Avraham Eisenberg launched legal efforts to retain $47 million in digital assets hacked from the DeFi platform back in October 2021. Eisenberg’s legal representative argued that both parties agreed on the funds to be returned and the assets to be kept by the alleged hacker, per a court filing on Wednesday.
Mango Markets, a decentralized exchange developed by Mango Labs, was hacked for roughly $114 million in October. Avraham Eisenberg then admitted to the exploit a few days later on Twitter. Eisenberg claimed that he and his team deployed “a highly profitable trading strategy”, suggesting that he gamed the protocol rather than hacked the DEX.
At the time, Mango Markets agreed to let Eisenberg and his team keep a portion of the stolen funds. The decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) that governs Mango’s exchange reportedly passed a vote to this effect amid the debacle.
Eisenberg and his team would return $67 million out of the $114 million stolen from the platform as part of a settlement agreement. In return, the self-acclaimed “game theorist” would get to keep $47 million of the loot along with his unidentified co-conspirators.
The alleged hacker was later arrested in December in connection to the incident. Prosecutors from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Department of Justice charged Eisenberg with market manipulation, commodities fraud, and commodities manipulation.
Mango Labs, the entity behind Mango Market, later sued Eisenberg for the remaining $47 million in January. Court filings made at the time said that the company was suing Eisenberg for damages. The company also claimed that the governance vote which initially agreed to let Eisenberg and his team keep a part of stolen funds was made under duress.
On Wednesday, Eisenberg’s legal team countered the motion in court and said there was no evidence to support this claim.
Mango Labs offers just one argument in favor of voiding the Settlement Agreement—’ duress’. Mango Labs now claims that Mango Markets had ‘no choice’ but to vote in favor of the Settlement Agreement. Mango Labs provides zero evidence in support of this theory.
Eisenberg’s court representatives added that Mango’s recovery efforts came more than three months after the incident, indicating “no true urgency” or “irreparable harm”. The lawyers have now urged the court to allow Eisenberg to keep the $47 million as he faces a criminal trial from the DOJ and civil charges from the CFTC.