Securities and Exchange Commission Accuses Mango Exploiter of Market Manipulation and Calls MNGO a ‘Security’

US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Avraham Eisenberg, a scalper in Mango Markets, was charged With market manipulation, the agency announced on Friday.

According to the SEC, Eisenberg stole about $116 million from decentralized exchange Solana by manipulating the price of MNGO, the platform’s native token. The agency described MNGO as an “alleged” governance and “security” token.

The SEC alleged that Eisenberg sold a large amount of perpetual futures contracts for MNGO tokens and then purchased them with another account. He then bought a large amount of MNGO, inflating its price and allowing him to borrow and withdraw $116 million worth of various cryptocurrencies, draining the entire 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 “very profitable business strategy.” Despite the many comments about the possible illegality of his actions, he has denied it many times and said so believed his actions were “legal”.

The SEC said Eisenberg carried out his scheme while living in Puerto Rico. It was Arrested There in December and she was charged with criminal and civil wrongdoing by both the US Department of Justice and the CFTC.

The SEC said it is still investigating the attack on Mango Markets, including other entities and people associated with the event.

Avraham Eisenberg’s arrest and charges show how regulators notice even seemingly insignificant events in the crypto industry. Anyone considering doing something similar to what Eisenberg did should reconsider.

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