An Argentine judge has charged Vice President Amado Boudou with bribery and conducting business incompatible with public office in the acquisition of the company that prints the country's currency and of later benefiting from government contracts.
Boudou is accused of using shell companies and secret middlemen to gain control of the company that was given contracts to print the Argentine peso and campaign material for the ticket he shared with President Cristina Fernandez.
Federal judge Ariel Lijo's decision was published Friday night on the justice department's website.
The vice president will remain free while awaiting trial in the case along with five other defendants, according to a statement from Argentina's federal court system.
Boudou is the first sitting Argentine vice president since the nation emerged from military dictatorship in 1983 to face such charges. He could be sentenced to between one and six years in prison, and banned from holding public office.
Boudou says he is innocent of the accusations.
The vice-president has carried out minimal public functions in recent months as the investigation came to a head.
The accusation comes at a sensitive time for Argentina, as the government battles in the U.S. courts against holdout creditors who want full repayment of bonds left over from the country's massive sovereign default in 2002.