Criminal Justice

Former House Speaker Hastert pleads guilty in hush money case

  • Print.

Dennis Hastert

Photo of former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert by Angela Farley /

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.

Prosecutors are recommending a sentence of up to six months in prison when Hastert is sentenced on Feb. 29, report the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Washington Post.

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.

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.