Tags: dennis hastert | fbi | allegations | income | times

NYT: Hastert Dramatically Boosted Income at Same Time Demand for Bribes Began

By    |   Saturday, 06 Jun 2015 10:09 PM

Former GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert's lobbying career began to accelerate in 2010, three years after he left Congress and coinciding with the beginning of payments he is accused of making that has led to federal charges of avoiding bank reporting laws.

"But apparently unknown to his business associates, Mr. Hastert was not merely following the path of other former members of Congress who have tried to cash in," The New York Times said in an extensive report on the circumstances behind Hastert's May 28 indictment.

Hastert "was seeking to prevent a hidden past from undoing his life," the report says.

Using emails and other documents and interviews with "people briefed on the investigation," the Times pieced together the circumstances outlined in the indictment.

It began in 2010, when Hastert, 73, asked an associate, J. David John, to find a financial adviser who could "come up with a plan for an annuity that would generate a substantial cash payout each year."

John, according to the Times, had been asked not to tell the financial adviser of Hastert's involvement in the plan.

The request had come just weeks before Hastert "made his first payment to a man known as 'Individual A' in what was to be a total of $3.5 million," the Times reports. The funds were "paid to prevent the man from publicly saying Mr. Hastert sexually abused him decades ago, when Mr. Hastert was a high school teacher and wrestling coach in Yorkville, Ill."

"I did not think much about it at the time, but looking back at it, it does seem strange," John told the Times in its Saturday report. "He just said he needed to generate some cash."

The intricate web included travels to Singapore, Montreal and other cities to meet with clients on projects ranging from Formula One racing to futures trading, according to the report.

Most of Hastert's wealth was linked to real estate when he left Congress, even though he had amassed several million dollars in assets, according to records cited by the Times.

The former speaker, according to the indictment, agreed to make large cash payments to "Individual A" out of his bank account. The document accused the Hastert of paying $1.7 million of the $3.5 million designated for the person.

Hastert is charged with violating federal bank reporting laws regarding extensive cash withdrawals. He is to appear in federal court in Chicago for arraignment on Tuesday.

John told the Times, however, that he was not sure of a link between the help on the annuity and the actions described in the document.

Barry Levine, Hastert's lawyer, declined to comment to the Times.

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Former GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert's lobbying career began to accelerate in 2010, three years after he left Congress and coinciding with the beginning of payments he is accused of making that has led to federal charges of avoiding bank reporting laws. But apparently...
dennis hastert, fbi, allegations, income, times
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2015-09-06
Saturday, 06 Jun 2015 10:09 PM
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