The U.S. Justice Department has issued subpoenas to nine companies accused of bilking consumers out of millions of dollars.
The firms are charged with committing fraud and violating the Sherman Antitrust Act.
The Justice Department’s subpoenas, which were obtained by Politico, were part of a criminal investigation by the department into the water treatment industry.
According to the subpoena, the companies “facilitated and directed” the conduct of a scam in which they bilked consumers out in the tens of millions.
The companies targeted in the investigation include the companies that manufacture and sell products used in the production of drinking water and hot water.
The firms are accused of conspiring to defraud consumers in more than 100 instances.
The U.K. Serious Fraud Office, the U.N.’s World Food Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations are also being investigated.
The department’s subpoenases are being served on companies located in the United States and Canada, the department said.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment.