Former House Speaker Hastert pleads guilty in hush money case
Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert pleaded guilty on Wednesday to evading currency reporting requirements in a case that alleged he made a series of bank withdrawals as part of an agreement to pay $3.5 million in hush money to an unidentified individual.
The indictment had accused Hastert of structuring cash withdrawals to avoid detection and lying about it to the FBI. He was accused of withdrawing $1.7 million as part of the hush money agreement.
According to the indictment, Hastert made 15 withdrawals of $50,000 each between June 2010 and April 2012, until bank employees began to question him. The law required federal reporting of transactions above $10,000. In July 2012, Hastert began withdrawing money in amounts less than $10,000, the indictment said.
The indictment didn’t explain the reason for the bank withdrawals, but press reports said Hastert paid the money to cover up allegations of misconduct by a male high school student.
Hastert was a teacher and wrestling coach in Yorkville, Illinois, before he entered politics as a Republican. He was a senior policy adviser at Dickstein Shapiro before resigning in May.