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Dennis Hastert, Former House Speaker, to Plead Guilty in Hush-Money Case

Image: Dennis Hastert, Former House Speaker, to Plead Guilty in Hush-Money Case
Former Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert leaves the Dirksen Federal Courthouse following his arraignment on June 9, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 15 Oct 2015 11:58 AM

Dennis Hastert, the former U.S. Speaker of the House, is expected to plead guilty in a deal with prosecutors over a hush-money case, Reuters reported.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys did not say what the charges were, or whether Hastert, the Republican speaker from 1999 to 2007, would serve time in prison.

He was charged in May with trying to hide large cash transactions as part of a hush-money scheme and with lying to the FBI.

The agreement is expected to be submitted to U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin on Monday, attorneys for Hastert said during a brief court appearance on Thursday.

Hastert, 73, who is free on bond, was not required to attend the hearing and was not in court. He pleaded not guilty in June to the two charges.

Hastert is scheduled to plead guilty on Oct. 28.

Federal prosecutors allege he promised to pay $3.5 million to an unnamed individual from his hometown of Yorkville, Illinois, to conceal past misconduct.

The individual who was allegedly receiving hush money from Hastert has not surfaced publicly. But anonymous law enforcement officials have told a number of media outlets that Hastert was trying to cover up sexual abuse of a male decades ago when he worked as a high school teacher and wrestling coach.

Hastert has not been charged with any past misconduct.

Lawyers for both sides said in September they were negotiating a plea deal to keep the case from going to trial. Durkin had asked both sides to bring him an agreement this week, or he would set a trial date.

According to the indictment, Hastert withdrew $1.7 million in cash from his bank accounts from 2010 to 2014. He is charged with "structuring" $952,000 of the withdrawals, taking the funds out in increments of under $10,000 to evade a requirement that banks report large cash transactions.

Hastert then told the FBI he was keeping the cash for himself, which the indictment said was a false statement.

Each of the charges carries a possible maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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Dennis Hastert, the former U.S. Speaker of the House, is expected to plead guilty in a deal with prosecutors over a hush-money case, Reuters reported.
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Thursday, 15 Oct 2015 11:58 AM
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