Federal authorities have launched criminal proceedings against 11 people accused of participating in an alleged bribery scheme by French company Alstom during bidding for Sao Paulo's metro rail systems. In a statement sent to AFP, Judge Marcelo Costenaro Cavali said he had decided to prosecute the individuals -- current and former public and Alstom officials, as well as some consultants -- for corruption and money laundering. "The allegations revolve around the corruption of public servants of the state of Sao Paulo by Alstom Brazil through the payment of millions of reals," the statement said. According to the indictment, the individuals are accused of taking part in a scheme during which Alstom is alleged to have paid $10 million in bribes to obtain contracts with the Sao Paulo metro. According to a spokesman for the federal courts, the charges are linked to a case involving several foreign firms who allegedly formed a cartel to eliminate competition and fix prices during bidding for the city's metro rail systems between 1999 and 2000. The companies allegedly involved, along with Alstom, are Germany's Siemens, Spain's CAF, Japan's Mitsui and Bombardier of Canada. However, Judge Cavali only mentioned Alstom. Last year, Brazilian judges froze assets worth $26 million in connection with the case. The investigation is based on documents from the Brazilian anti-trust authority CADE. Alstom has been operating in Brazil since 1956. In 2011, it inaugurated a new wind turbine manufacturing plant in the northeastern Brazilian city of Camacari, its first in Latin America.