Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R) has been indicted for money misconduct. Hastert is also on record lying to the FBI.
Hastert, 73, made payments of up to $3.5 million to attempt to quiet an unidentified person about “prior misconduct” the court in Illinois released a statement saying. The indictment identified the individual as Individual A and says that Individual A has known Speaker Hastert for most of his life.
He attempted to avoid bank reporting requirements by withdrawing the money from several accounts. He then told FBI agents investigating that he was keeping the money to himself.
From 2010 to 2012, Hastert took out fifteen separate withdrawals of $50,000. However, he was questioned by bank officials. Following that, Hastert made the withdrawals in $10,000.
He is quoted telling the FBI “Yeah … I kept the cash. That’s what I’m doing.” He was questioned by the FBI in December of last year and lied about where the money was going.
If he is convicted, he may be given a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count.
The Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 mandates that any withdrawal of $10,000 or more must be accompanied by the filing of a Currency Transaction Report with the IRS. The law also makes structuring, an attempt to circumvent the regulations by taking out smaller increments, illegal.
The exchanges took place over the course of 2010 to 2014.
Hastert has not been arrested yet and the FBI says he will be arraigned at some point. However, Hastert has resigned from the lobbying and law firm, Dickstein Shapiro. His biography has also already been removed from the company website.
Hastert is also the longest serving Republican Speaker of the House, from 1999 to 2007.
Additional reporting by TKNN’s Tyler.