CFTC Alleges Market Manipulation Against Mango Markets Exploiter

DOJ arrested Avraham Eisenberg last year on similar charges.

AccessTimeIconJan 9, 2023 at 6:58 p.m. UTC
Updated Jan 9, 2023 at 7:45 p.m. UTC

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) brought manipulation charges against Mango Markets exploiter Avraham Eisenberg on Monday, just weeks after he was arrested by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on similar charges.

A lawsuit dated Monday alleges that Eisenberg violated federal commodities law by using a "manipulative or deceptive device" to manipulate the price of the MNGO token through swaps, and also that he engaged in "manipulation of a swap" for his role in exploiting Mango Markets in October. More than $100 million in crypto was taken from the decentralized exchange after a trader used multiple accounts to buy, sell and hedge the price of the MNGO token.

Eisenberg later said he was part of a group that "operated a highly profitable trading strategy" and would return some of the funds to Mango. In later tweets he said he believed his actions were legal. The Justice Department arrested him roughly two months later on market manipulation charges.

Like the DOJ, the CFTC pointed to Eisenberg's public statements, saying he "admit[ted] to his scheme" in a Discord server prior to the exploit and in tweets after the funds were drained.

"Contrary to his purported belief that his actions were legal, in fact, they constituted blatant manipulation of spot prices and swaps," the CFTC said.

Eisenberg, who was arrested in Puerto Rico near the end of 2022, remains detained pending trial.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Nikhilesh De is CoinDesk's managing editor for global policy and regulation. He owns marginal amounts of bitcoin and ether.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.