A judicial source said the public prosecutor was examining complaints from private citizens against 35 prominent democracy and rights activists, many of them important players in the 2011 uprising.
They include activist Ahmed Maher, blogger Ahmed Douma and liberal politician Amr Hamzawi, the judicial source said.
Such prosecutions have long been seen as a tool of political intimidation in Egypt and are often instigated by supporters of the government. Liberal politician Mohamed ElBaradei, who was Egyptian deputy president in the interim government before resigning, has been targeted in a similar case.
The latest complaints accuse activists of accepting money from the US and other countries, the source said.
Hamzawi said on Twitter that “claims that I got foreign money are completely untrue, the campaign of fabrication and distortion must immediately stop.”
“These are fake accusations,” rights lawyer Gamal Eid said. “[The complaint] is from people who know that it is false, but who try to silence activists’ demands for the realization of the demands of the revolution.”
Separately, a leftist lawyer accused of belonging to a secret organization and spreading lies about the military appeared before military prosecutors in Suez, but was later released, judicial sources said. Haitham Mohamedeen, a rights activist who belongs to the Revolutionary Socialist movement, had been arrested in Suez on Thursday.