- The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced on Friday that it has charged Mango Markets exploiter Avraham Eisenberg with market manipulation.
- The agency called Mango Markets’ native token a “security”.
- The SEC said that Eisenberg manipulated MNGO and stole $116 million from the decentralized exchange.
- Eisenberg was arrested in Puerto Rico in December. He was charged by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
- The investigation into the Mango Markets exploit is still ongoing.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged the Mango Markets exploiter Avraham Eisenberg with market manipulation, the agency announced on Friday.
According to the SEC, Eisenberg stole around $116 million from the Solana-based decentralized exchange by manipulating the price of MNGO, the platform’s native token. The agency called MNGO a “so-called” governance token and “a security”.
The SEC alleged that Eisenberg sold a large amount of perpetual futures for MNGO tokens and then bought them with another account. Then he bought a large amount of MNGO, which inflated its price and allowed him to borrow and withdraw around $116 million worth of various crypto tokens, effectively draining the whole Mango Markets treasury.
“[...] Eisenberg engaged in a manipulative and deceptive scheme to artificially inflate the price of the MNGO token, which was purchased and sold as a crypto asset security, in order to borrow and then withdraw nearly all available assets from Mango Markets, which left the platform at a deficit when the security price returned to its pre-manipulation level,” said David Hirsch, Chief of the Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit. “As our action shows, the SEC remains committed to rooting out market manipulation, regardless of the type of security involved.”
After the attack, Eisenberg took to Twitter to brag about his “highly profitable trading strategy”. Despite many comments about the potential illegality of his actions, he denied it multiple times and said that he believes his actions were “legal”.
The SEC said that Eisenberg carried out his scheme while living in Puerto Rico. He was arrested there in December and charged with criminal and civil misconduct by both the U.S. Justice Department and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
The SEC said it’s still investigating the attack on Mango Markets, including other entities and people related to the event.
On the Flipside
- Eisenberg has yet to say a word since his arrest in Puerto Rico in December.
- Eisenberg returned $67 million a day after the event but kept $47 million as a bounty reward.
- There might be more revelations as the investigation continues.
Why You Should Care
The arrest of Avraham Eisenberg and the charges brought against him shows how even seemingly unimportant events in the crypto industry are noticed by the regulators. Anyone thinking of doing something similar to what Eisenberg did should reconsider their decision.