Avi Eisenberg is fighting for the $14m he lost on Waves from his jail cell

Avi Eisenberg is fighting for the $14m he lost on Waves from his jail cell
People & culture
Avraham Eisenberg (left) is suing Sasha Ivanov (right) over the $14 million he lost on Waves blockchain-based protocol Vires Finance. Credit: Darren Joseph
  • Avraham Eisenberg is continuing to sue Sasha Ivanov from jail.
  • Eisenberg alleges Ivanov stole $14 million from him in 2022.
  • Before the case can proceed, Eisenberg needs to locate and serve Ivanov.

Convicted crypto trader Avraham Eisenberg is in jail while awaiting sentencing later this month for his $115 million exploit of DeFi protocol Mango Markets.

But details buried in court filings show that he’s also spending his time on another case.

He’s attempting to claw back $14 million, which he alleges Waves creator Sasha Ivanov stole from him on the Waves blockchain in 2022.

There’s just one hitch.

Despite suing Ivanov in 2022, Eisenberg and his legal representatives have yet to serve the Waves creator directly.

Back then, the court denied Eisenberg’s application to serve Ivanov over email. He’s now forced to track down Ivanov himself from jail.

“Eisenberg has been working to try to locate these defendants and serve them as expeditiously as possible,” said Cortland Putbrese, Eisenberg’s lawyer, in a June 20 court filing.

Eisenberg previously accused Ivanov of running a “bait-and-switch scam,” and a “global Ponzi scheme” in which he lost some $14 million worth of crypto.

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Missing $530 million

Eisenberg deposited the millions in USDC stablecoins to a Waves-based DeFi protocol called Vires Finance in early 2022, according to his original lawsuit.

In the suit, Eisenberg alleges Ivanov and other co-conspirators lured money to Vires with promises of high returns.

Ivanov used dummy collateral to borrow depositors’ USDC and USDT stablecoins.

Finally, Eisenberg alleges that Ivanov sold these stablecoins to inflate the WAVES token price.

A DL News investigation last year found a crypto wallet linked to Ivanov, along with several others, worked together to syphon $530 million out of Vires Finance, a lending protocol on the Waves blockchain.

Ivanov has said he agrees that investors’ money was drained from Vires Finance in this way, but denies he was involved.

He has also repeatedly dismissed Eisenberg and other critics as “trolls.”

However, Eisenberg is not the only one claiming they lost money.

DL News previously spoke to several other victims of the alleged scam.

“It all happened without any headlines, let alone anyone being held accountable,” Bendt O, who said he lost hundreds of thousands of dollars on Vires Finance, told DL News previously.

Bendt O asked to use only an initial for his surname to protect his identity.

Where’s Ivanov?

Although Eisenberg hasn’t been able to serve Ivanov, it hasn’t been for a lack of trying, according to the June 20 filing.

In 2022, Eisenberg attempted to serve Ivanov at a Florida address listed as the offices of Corbital LLC, one of Ivanov’s many registered companies.

When a representative for Eisenberg arrived, all they found was a restaurant at the location.

Since then, Eisenberg and his lawyers have made some progress.

“An independent investigator has determined that he is a Russian citizen, and that he lives in Dubai,” Putbrese said in the filing.

Ivanov previously said on Telegram — a messaging app — that he lives in a hotel in Dubai.

DL News previously interviewed Ivanov at the Voco Bonnington Hotel in Dubai.

Putbrese added that he believes Ivanov regularly travels internationally between the United Arab Emirates, France, and other countries.

In January, Ivanov spoke on a panel at the Crypto2030 conference in Davos, Switzerland.

The June 20 filing also revealed that Eisenberg’s lawyers had sent subpoenas to developer platform GitHub and blog site Medium in an attempt to find Ivanov’s address.

Both attempts were unsuccessful.

Ivanov didn’t return a request for comment.

Tim Craig is a DeFi Correspondent at DL News. Got a tip? Email him at tim@dlnews.com.

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