John C. Beale, a former deputy assistant administrator in the Office of Air and Radiation, is accused of stealing a total of $886,186 between 2000 and April of this year.
A document filed by the Justice Department says Beale stole the money by collecting bonuses and extra salary.
Beale, 64, of Arlington, Va., faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and financial penalties if convicted. He worked at the EPA for at least two decades under several presidents. He was a top deputy to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, who headed the Air and Radiation office from 2009 until taking over the agency last month.