Nine vendors face criminal and civil charges for allegedly helping U.S. Foodservice Inc., a subsidiary of Dutch grocer Royal Ahold NV, inflate earnings by more than $800 million.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York filed criminal charges against the nine vendors, accusing them of conspiring with executives of Columbia, Md.-based U.S. Foodservice to create false accounting records by signing false audit letters that overstated money owed to the food distributor.

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