A U.S. jury has handed down a conviction in one of the first cases involving alleged market manipulation in the fledging crypto markets.

Following a 10-day trial, Avraham Eisenberg was found guilty on charges of commodities fraud, commodities market manipulation and wire fraud for his trading on a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange, Mango Markets.

U.S. authorities alleged that Eisenberg, who is scheduled to be sentenced on July 29, defrauded the exchange and its clients of approximately US$116 million worth of crypto by manipulating the price of crypto tokens using futures on those assets.

Alongside the criminal charges, both the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Commodities and Futures Trading Commission charged Eisenberg with civil violations of securities and derivatives laws.

The regulators alleged Eisenberg engaged in a scheme to artificially inflate the price of crypto tokens with large trades of the thinly traded futures and tokens that drove a sharp increase in the price of the tokens in a short period.

Then, after boosting the price of the tokens, he used the inflated tokens as collateral to cash out approximately US$116 million worth of various crypto assets from the exchange, effectively draining the platform’s assets.

“This prosecution — the first involving the manipulation of cryptocurrency through open-market trades — demonstrates the criminal division’s commitment to protecting U.S. financial markets and holding wrongdoers accountable, no matter what mechanism they use to commit manipulation and fraud,” said Nicole Argentieri, principal deputy assistant attorney general in the Southern District of New York, in a release.