The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has filed a lawsuit against Avraham Eisenberg, the person behind the Mango Markets exploit.
In a court filing on Monday, the CFTC charged Eisenberg with two counts of market manipulation. The complaint alleged that Eisenberg had “engaged in a manipulative and deceptive scheme to artificially inflate the price of swaps offered by Mango Markets.”
In the filing, the CFTC said Eisenberg had purchased 400 million MNGO-USDC perpetual swaps on the decentralized exchange Mango Markets, which amounted to $19 million. He then bought large quantities of MNGO on oracle exchanges over a span of less than 30 minutes, which inflated the price of these relatively illiquid MNGO tokens.
With the value of his position now significantly inflated, Eisenberg then borrowed several digital assets worth $114 million from the DEX and effectively drained it of all available liquidity. The value of his collateral, however, was an illusion created by price manipulation and left Mango Markets holding a mostly empty bag, said the CFTC.
“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,” added the CFTC in the filing.
The regulator alleged that Eisenberg’s conduct in engaging in fraudulent and manipulative act was in violation of the Commodity Exchange Act and a number of sections of the Commission Regulations. The CFTC is seeking civil monetary penalties from Eisenberg and other remedial relief, including but not limited to trading bans.
Eisenberg was arrested in Puerto Rico on Dec. 27 on market manipulation charges. He is currently in custody pending a trial, after U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce McGiverin ordered his mandatory detention last week.
Avraham Eisenberg’s involvement in exploiting the Mango Markets protocol is reportedly also being investigated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.