Man accused of crashing Mango Markets crypto exchange appears in court

The man accused of shutting down decentralized crypto exchange Mango Markets through market manipulation has made his first appearance in court in connection with the theft of millions in cryptocurrency.

Avraham Eisenberg was arrested in late December in Puerto Rico in relation to charges [PDF] filed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which allege he made off with more than $110 million in crypto “by artificially manipulating the price of certain perpetual futures contracts.”

A Department of Justice grand jury indicted Eisenberg in early January, leading to this latest court hearing.

According to the lawsuit, Eisenberg is alleged to have used a pair of accounts on Mango Markets to pump the price of the MNGO “governance token” used on the platform. Using a series of trades between his two accounts at incrementally higher prices, the SEC alleges that Eisenberg raised the value of MNGO by more than 2,200 percent in a single day of trading.

Eisenberg, in turn, used his position “as collateral to borrow and ultimately withdraw from the Mango Markets platform approximately $116 million worth of various crypto assets – some of which belonged to investors trading on the Mango Markets platform, thereby draining all available assets from the platform,” the suit alleges.

On October 12, 2022, a day after the attack, Mango’s decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) decided to halt a new platform upgrade, and closed its entire market. As of now, it’s still offline, but Mango’s homepage indicates it’s planning a comeback release dubbed “Mango v4”

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