HomeCryptoSEC accuses Mango Markets pimp of allegedly stealing $116 million worth of cryptocurrencies
SEC accuses Mango Markets pimp of allegedly stealing $116 million worth of cryptocurrencies
January 20, 2023
The US Securities and Exchange Commission has followed the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and others in filing parallel charges against the crypto user allegedly behind a multi-million dollar exploit of decentralized exchange Mango Markets.
In a Jan. 20 notice, the SEC said Avraham Eisenberg manipulated Mango Markets’ MNGO governance token, allowing him to steal about $116 million worth of cryptocurrency from the platform. According to the complaint, Eisenberg made a series of large purchases of MNGO to artificially boost the price of the token against USD Coin (USDC), then drained the assets from Mango Markets.
“Eisenberg engaged in a manipulative and deceptive scheme to artificially inflate the price of the MNGO token, which was bought and sold as a security of crypto assets, in order to borrow and then withdraw almost any available asset from Mango Markets, that left the platform at a deficit as the stock price returned to its pre-manipulation level,” said David Hirsch, head of the SEC’s Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit.
The SEC, with the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the FBI and the CFTC, charged Eisenberg with violations of the anti-fraud and market manipulation provisions of the securities laws. According to the financial regulator, he will seek “permanent injunctive relief, conduct-based injunction, revocation with prejudicial interest and civil penalties.”
Eisenberg was reportedly responsible for executing a major Mango Markets exploit in October, withdrawing approximately $50 million USDC, $27 million Marinade Staked SOL (mSOL), $24 million SOL and $15 million MNGO. Mango Markets later reported that approximately $67 million worth of funds had been returned, with Eisenberg publicly saying he believed his actions had been legal as part of a “highly profitable trading strategy”.
Authorities arrested Eisenberg in Puerto Rico in December. The FBI complaint alleged that he “intentionally and knowingly” engaged in a scheme involving the “deliberate and artificial manipulation” of the price of perpetual futures on the crypto platform. The CFTC followed up with its own lawsuit on Jan. 9, accusing Eisenberg of market manipulation.
Related: Low liquidity caused Mango Markets to lose more than $116 million
Following a January detention hearing, a magistrate judge ordered Eisenberg’s detention until trial, as it was the only way to guarantee his appearance. The Mango Markets pimp has not posted on his Twitter account since his arrest in December.