A former top NASA official has been indicted on charges of steering $9.6 million in agency funds to a consulting client.

The U.S. attorney's office announced a three-count indictment on Friday against Courtney Stadd of Bethesda, Md., who was NASA's chief of staff and White House liaison.

The indictment accuses Stadd of steering money from an earth science appropriation to Mississippi State University, which was paying him as a consultant. Stadd is also accused of lying to NASA ethics officials investigating the matter.

Stadd faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted on all three charges.