New York jury convicts man in first-ever cryptocurrency market manipulation case

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A New York federal jury on Thursday convicted a Puerto Rico man of a $110 million scheme that was the Department of Justice’s first-ever cryptocurrency open-market manipulation case, prosecutors said.

The man, 28-year-old Avraham Eisenberg of San Juan, faces a maximum possible sentence of 20 years in prison for the charges of wire fraud, commodities fraud, and commodities manipulation.

Prosecutors said Eisenberg fraudulently obtained about $110 million worth of cryptocurrency from the Mango Markets exchange and its customers by artificially and dramatically driving up the price of both futures contracts and the MNGO crypto token, and then borrowing cryptocurrency based on the value of the inflated assets.

“When Eisenberg borrowed and withdrew this cryptocurrency, he had no intention of repaying the borrowed funds but rather intended to steal those funds,” the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement when he was indicted in February 2023.

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On Thursday, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said, “Moments ago, Avraham Eisenberg was found guilty by a unanimous jury in the first-ever cryptocurrency market manipulation case.”

“This ground-breaking prosecution epitomizes this Office’s ability to employ innovative methods and cutting-edge law enforcement tools to continue to protect all financial markets,” Williams said.

Eisenberg is scheduled to be sentenced on July 29 in Manhattan federal court.

This is developing news. Check back for updates.

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