Court Delays Trial Date for Crypto Investor Avi Eisenberg
- Crypto investor Avi Eisenberg is accused of draining millions from Mango Markets in 2022.
- Eisenberg joins a list of crypto figures to be tried in 2024.
Crypto trader Avi Eisenberg was slated to stand trial in December 2023. However, a month before the trial, the judge presiding over the case has agreed to postpone the trial until April 8, 2024. Prosecutors claim Eisenberg’s “highly profitable trading strategy” drained crypto tokens worth $110 million from DeFi trading platform Mango Markets in 2022.
All looked set for Eisenberg’s December trial until the crypto trader was transferred from a federal jail in New Jersey to the more restricted Metropolitan Detention Center in October. This move hindered the defense attorney’s ability to prepare for Eisenberg’s trial.
Furthermore, Eisenberg’s attorneys asked for more time due to the “complex and novel legal and factual issues” involved. The trial is scheduled to be held at the New York court where Bankman-Fried’s criminal proceeding was held. However, while both cases involve fraud, Eisenberg’s case appears more complex. It features more crypto-native principles, unlike Bankman-Fried’s case, which was a straightforward fraud case.
Eisenberg’s charges include commodities manipulation and commodities fraud. His punishment may range from a fine to a prison term. Prosecutors claim the crypto investor “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.”
Eisenberg allegedly manipulated the price of perpetual contracts for Mango Markets’ native token, MNGO. He inflated the price of MNGO perpetual contracts by 1,300% by selling large quantities of those contracts to himself. Largely leveraged, Eisenberg subsequently “withdrew essentially all of the cryptocurrency deposits on the Mango Markets platform,” borrowing against the value of his holding.
Eisenberg joins a list of crypto figures set to be trialed in 2024. Former Celsius CEO and founder Alex Mashinsky will be tried in September 2024 for defrauding and misleading users. In addition, US federal judge Lewis Kaplan has scheduled Bankman-Fried’s sentencing for March 28, 2024. The FTX founder could face decades in prison after he was found guilty of all seven charges on Thursday.