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SEC Charges Investor with Stealing $116M in Crypto from Mango Markets

• The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged Avraham Eisenberg with manipulating the Mango Markets platform by manipulating the MNGO token, allegedly stealing $116 million in crypto.
• The SEC alleged Eisenberg executed a series of large MNGO purchases in order to artificially raise the price of the token relative to USD Coin, then drained the assets from Mango Markets.
• The SEC, with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the FBI, and the CFTC, has charged Eisenberg with violations of the anti-fraud and market manipulation provisions of securities laws.

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced on January 20th, 2023 that it had filed parallel charges against crypto user Avraham Eisenberg for allegedly stealing $116 million worth of cryptocurrency from decentralized exchange Mango Markets. According to the SEC, Eisenberg manipulated Mango Markets’ MNGO governance token, allowing him to artificially raise the price of the token relative to USD Coin USDC $1.00 USD Coin -0.01% MARKET CAP$43.50bVOL. 24H$8.33m USDC $8.33m and then drain the assets from the platform.

David Hirsch, head of the SEC’s Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit, said that 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.”

In response to the charges, the SEC, with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the FBI, and the CFTC, has charged Eisenberg with violating the anti-fraud and market manipulation provisions of securities laws. If found guilty, Eisenberg could face a variety of sanctions, including fines and possible jail time.

The SEC’s action is yet another example of the agency’s increased enforcement of cryptocurrency-related activities. Previously, the SEC has taken steps to protect investors from fraudulent initial coin offerings, as well as other forms of cryptocurrency fraud. In its complaint, the SEC noted that it is “committed to protecting investors from those who seek to abuse the promise of the digital asset markets.”