Lawyers representing the $116 million Mango Markets operator have convinced a judge to postpone the fraud trial until April 8, 2023.
Avraham Eisenberg’s fraud trial was due to begin on December 4, but several circumstances affected trial preparations, according to his attorneys, who successfully filed a motion for extension before District Court Judge Arun Subramanian on November 2.
“As discussed in today’s conference, the motion for extension is GRANTED. The trial in this case will begin on April 8, 2024,” Subramanian stated in a November 3 court filing.
U.S. prosecutors challenged the extension motion, but were unsuccessful. Subramanian also ordered U.S. attorneys and Eisenberg’s attorneys to submit a revised schedule for pretrial motions and filings by Nov. 7.
Despite confessing to his role in the Mango Markets scheme, Eisenberg pleaded not guilty to three criminal charges of commodity fraud, commodity tampering and wire fraud in June.
In the motion, Eisenberg’s attorneys said they needed more time to examine discovery materials presented by U.S. prosecutors.
“The government has continually produced voluminous discoveries in this case. […] which the defense is still analyzing and consulting with the client about.”
The lawyers added that they lost time to prepare with Eisenberg when he was “unexpectedly” transferred to the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn on October 26.
Eisenberg was not allowed to transfer the discovery materials, which he noted along with other legal documents relevant to the trial.
“The transfer to the MDC has already inhibited, and will continue to severely inhibit, defense attorneys’ access to Mr. Eisenberg,” the attorneys added.
MCD is the prison that former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried returned to after being found guilty of all seven fraud-related charges on November 2.
Related: How low liquidity led Mango Markets to lose more than $116 million
The Securities and Exchange Commission also charged Eisenberg on Jan. 20, alleging that he manipulated Mango Markets’ governance token, MNGO, by taking out “massive loans” against its inflated collateral and depleting Mango’s treasury of around $116 million.
Mango Markets is now also suing Avraham Eisenberg, seeking repayment of the remaining $47 million it stole. https://t.co/H48nPPl13h
— web3 is great (@web3isgreat) January 26, 2023
This followed Eisenberg’s arrest in Puerto Rico about three weeks earlier, on December 27.
Eisenberg publicly confessed to the feat on October 15, 2022, arguing that his actions were completely legal. He initially sent $67 million to the Mango Markets decentralized autonomous organization as part of a reward agreement. However, the team behind Mango Markets later sued Eisenberg for $47 million in damages plus interest.
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