Four men from Hartlepool have been charged over an alleged council scam worth £100,000.
The suspects were arrested on suspicion of involvement in an alleged fraud at Darlington BC.
The charges are linked to suspected fake invoices which went through accounts at the council.
An investigation was launched in December and three of the suspects, aged 49, 43 and 44, have now been charged with conspiracy to commit fraud and a 37-year-old with perverting the cause of justice.
Two of them own businesses in Hartlepool, while one worked at the Darlington authority.
It is believed the alleged fraud may have happened over a several years.
One part of the probe relates to an order for the hire of a cherry picker aerial work platform.
The group have been bailed to appear at Darlington Magistrates’ Court on 30 December.