The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and the Department of Justice (DOJ) have charged an alleged attacker who stole $116 million from crypto trading platform Mango Markets. The defendant has been arrested and is currently detained in Puerto Rico.
Mango Markets Manipulator Arrested, Detained
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced Friday that it has charged Avraham Eisenberg with “orchestrating an attack on a crypto asset trading platform, Mango Markets, by manipulating the MNGO token.” The regulator noted that the crypto token was offered and sold as a security.
The defendant is a 27-year-old U.S. citizen who is facing “parallel criminal and civil charges” brought by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), respectively, the SEC added. The CFTC filed a civil enforcement action against Eisenberg on Jan. 9. He has been arrested and detained at MDC Guaynabo, Puerto Rico.
The securities watchdog explained that beginning on Oct. 11, 2022, while living in Puerto Rico:
Eisenberg engaged in a scheme to steal approximately $116 million worth of crypto assets from the Mango Markets platform.
He allegedly “used an account that he controlled on Mango Markets to sell a large amount of perpetual futures for MNGO tokens and used a separate account on Mango Markets to purchase those same perpetual futures,” the regulator said.
In addition, Eisenberg allegedly made a series of large purchases of the thinly traded MNGO token to artificially raise the token’s price relative to USD Coin (USDC), the SEC continued, adding that the price of MNGO perpetual futures on Mango Markets subsequently increased. According to the securities regulator:
Eisenberg used the increased value of his MNGO perpetual futures position to borrow and withdraw approximately $116 million worth of various crypto assets from Mango Markets, effectively draining all available assets from the Mango Markets platform.
The SEC charged Eisenberg with “violating anti-fraud and market manipulation provisions of the securities laws.” The regulator is seeking “permanent injunctive relief, a conduct-based injunction, disgorgement with prejudgment interest, and civil penalties.”
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