Adam Szubin, who oversees US Treasury sanctions, told BBC Panorama that the US government had known Mr Putin was corrupt for "many, many years".
It is thought to be the first time the US has made such a direct accusation.
Washington has already imposed sanctions on Mr Putin's aides, but has stopped short of levelling corruption allegations at the president himself. --
In the programme, Mr Szubin spoke of how "we've seen [Mr Putin] enriching his friends, his close allies, and marginalising those who he doesn't view as friends using state assets", whether it concerned Russia's energy wealth or state contracts. "To me, that is a picture of corruption," he said. --
US government officials have been reluctant to be interviewed about President Putin's wealth, and Mr Szubin would not comment on a secret CIA report from 2007 that estimated it at around $40bn (£28bn).
But he said the Russian president had been amassing secret wealth. "He supposedly draws a state salary of something like $110,000 a year. That is not an accurate statement of the man's wealth, and he has long time training and practices in terms of how to mask his actual wealth."