Mango Markets Exploiter Hit with CFTC Market Manipulation Charge

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  • Mango Markets manipulator Avraham Eisenberg has been hit with charges by the CFTC
  • The charge of market manipulation comes on top of existing charges by the U.S. Justice Department
  • The CFTC says Eisenberg borrowed a “significant” amount of crypto from the platform that he didn’t intend to repay

Avraham Eisenberg, the individual whose team exploited the Mango Markets exchange in October last year, has been hit with a second charge of market manipulation over the incident. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) yesterday charged Eisenberg with market manipulation, which comes on top of similar charges brought by the U.S. Justice Department at the end of last year. Eisenberg is currently in custody having been arrested by the FBI over these charges.

Eisenberg Manipulated MNGO Token to Artificial Highs

The CFTC alleges that Eisenberg “engaged in a manipulative and deceptive scheme to artificially inflate the price” of certain trading pairs on the Mango Markets exchange which led to “the misappropriation of over $100 million from the platform.” To achieve this, Eisenberg is said to have purchased over 400 million MNGO-USDC Swaps on Mango Markets with a position size of approximately $19 million.

This was followed by a purchase of “large quantities”’ of Mango’s MNGO coin on three exchanges that Mango uses as oracles. This pushed up the value of MNGO, with Eisenberg then borrowing digital assets worth about $144 million from Mango Markets itself at the inflated price. The MNGO price then fell, leaving Mango Markets illiquid.

You’re All Just Jealous

The CFTC has labeled these actions as wash trading and said in its filing that:

The goal of Defendant’s scheme was straightforward: to artificially inflate the value of his swap contract holdings on Mango Markets through price manipulation, so that he could ‘borrow’ a significant amount of digital assets that he had no intention to repay.

Eisenberg has never shied away from the suggestion that he manipulated Mango Markets, saying that it was perfectly legal and that his detractors are merely jealous that they didn’t think of it.

Yeah, nah.