SEC charges Avraham Eisenberg for $116 million Mango Markets exploit

Quick Take

  • The SEC brought charges against Avraham Eisenberg on Friday after the U.S. securities regulator said Eisenberg stole $116 million from Mango Markets.
  • Notably, the agency said the MNGO token was offered and sold as a security. 

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged Avraham Eisenberg, who is known as Mango Avi, with orchestrating an attack on Mango Markets and draining $116 million from the crypto trading platform. 

The SEC said Eisenberg manipulated the MNGO token, a governance token that the SEC said was offered and sold as a security. Eisenberg was arrested and detained in Puerto Rico and will be transported to appear before the Southern District of New York.

Eisenberg also faces charges from the Department of Justice and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, as previously reported. 

Investigations into other securities law violations and into other entities and persons relating to the alleged misconduct are ongoing, the agency said in a statement on Friday. Mango Markets is inoperative, the SEC said in the complaint. 

The SEC said beginning on Oct. 11, 2022, Eisenberg engaged in a scheme to steal about $116 million worth of crypto from the Mango Markets platform. Eisenberg allegedly used an account that he controlled on Mango Markets to sell a large number of crypto derivatives for MNGO tokens and used a separate account on the platform to buy those same derivatives.

Eisenberg then engaged in a series of large purchases of the thinly traded MNGO token to artificially raise the price of the MNGO token relative to the crypto USD Coin, the agency said.  

The price of MNGO crypto derivatives on Mango Markets increased as a result of those transactions. Eisenberg used the increased value of his MNGO derivatives position to borrow and withdraw about $116 million worth of various crypto from the platform — effectively draining all available assets from the Mango Markets platform, the SEC said.  

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