Four people are accused of ignoring U.S. Food and Drug Administration orders and distributing more than 110,000 pounds of contaminated cheese. Some of it contained salmonella, E. coli and other potentially harmful bacteria.
The U.S. attorney's office in Chicago says the suspects even scraped mold and fungus off 35- and 40-pound wheels of the Mexican cheese that unhappy customers had returned so they could be resold. Prosecutors announced the indictments Thursday.
They say there's no evidence anyone became ill eating the cheese.
A Wisconsin company distributing the cheese under the brand Queso Cincho De Guerrero to Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Georgia and Texas issued a recall in 2007.
To cover up the distribution, the defendants allegedly sent false documentation to the FDA. They're charged with violating food safety laws.