A US district court in Chicago indicted former US House of Representatives Speaker Dennis Hastert on Thursday with charges of withdrawing $952,000 in cash in a way that evaded the requirement of banks reporting cash transactions over $10,000 and of lying to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) about it.
Former Republican lawmaker faces five years of prison time and $250,000 fine for each account of indictments.
The indictment against Hastert states that former speaker agreed to pay an unidentified individual “$3.5 million in order to compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct.”
Hastert paid the individual, who is a longtime acquaintance of him, about $1.7 million in cash payments withdrawing money from several banks between 2010 and 2014.
He made the cash withdrawals in a way that evades the federal law requirements and “falsely stated that he was keeping the cash" when questioned by FBI agents, the indictment says.
Hastert has served as the speaker of House from 1999 to 2007 and played an important role in passing then President George W. Bush’s legislative agenda through the Congress.
He is the longest serving Republican House speaker and was working as a lobbyist since 2008.