The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged Mango Market exploiter Avraham Eisenberg with manipulating MNGO tokens to steal $116 million, according to a January 20 press statement.
According to the financial regulator, Eisenberg manipulated the Mango Market by executing several large MNGO transactions that inflated the token’s value. This allowed him to drain all the $116 million assets held on the crypto platform. The regulator added that the MNGO tokens were offered and sold as a security.
The head of SEC’s Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit, David Hirsch, said Eisenberg’s actions “left the platform at a deficit when the security price returned to its pre-manipulation level.”
The financial watchdog alleged that the exploiter’s actions constituted violations of the “anti-fraud and market manipulation provisions of the securities laws.” The Commission also said it was investigating other securities law violations.
Meanwhile, the regulator is seeking “permanent injunctive relief, a conduct-based injunction, disgorgement with prejudgment interest, and civil penalties.”
Mango Market Attacker Faces Multiple Federal Charges
U.S. authorities arrested Avraham Eisenberg on December 27 in Puerto Rico. The FBI charged him with commodities fraud and manipulation. Another U.S. agency CFTC further charged him on January 9 with violating the country’s commodities regulations.
Eisenberg is currently under federal custody and was denied bail on January 4 because he was considered a flight risk. He previously described his trading actions as a “highly profitable trading strategy.”
U.S. Clampdown on Crypto
U.S. authorities have begun a strict clampdown on malicious players in the crypto space. Financial agencies in the country have stepped up their activities in the space following FTX’s implosion in November.
The SEC and sister agencies have brought several charges against players in the FTX case. At the same time, the Commission recently charged crypto exchange Gemini and bankrupt lender Genesis with selling unregistered securities.
More recently, the U.S. Department of Justice revealed the arrest of Bitzlato founder Anatoly Legkodymo — a Russian cryptocurrency exchange with poor know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering policies that facilitated money laundering operations.
BeInCrypto has reached out to company or individual involved in the story to get an official statement about the recent developments, but it has yet to hear back.