Former U.S, House Speaker Dennis Hastert pleaded guilty in Chicago federal court on Wednesday to making false statements to the FBI about currency transactions that were structured to evade federal reporting requirements in a scheme to pay hush money to conceal allegations of sexual misconduct.
The deal with federal prosecutors recommends Hastert, 73, the longest-serving Republican House speaker in history, serve no more than six months in prison and avoid a trial in the case. U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin set sentencing for Feb. 29.
According to the indictment, in 2010, Hastert agreed to provide an individual $3.5 million in order to compensate for and conceal his alleged prior misconduct against that person. From 2010 to 2014, Hastert withdrew a total of approximately $1.7 million in cash from various bank accounts and provided it to the accuser. Beginning in approximately July 2012, Hastert started structuring his cash withdrawals in increments of less than $10,000 to evade the filing of Currency Transaction Reports (“CTRs”), which banks are required to file for cash withdrawals in excess of $10,000.
When questioned by the FBI in December 2014, Hastert falsely stated that he was keeping the cash.
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