Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert will be arraigned this week following an indictment that alleges he agreed to pay $3.5 million in hush money to someone from the Illinois town where he was once a teacher and coach, a federal judge’s office said Monday.
The Illinois Republican is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in U.S. District Court in Chicago on one count of evading bank regulations, Judge Thomas M. Durkin’s office told The Associated Press. It will be Hastert’s first court appearance since he was indicted last week.
The 73-year-old Hastert is accused of evading bank regulations by withdrawing $952,000 in increments of less than $10,000 to skirt reporting requirements. He also is charged with lying to the FBI about the reason for the unusual withdrawals.
The indictment doesn’t say what Hastert was allegedly trying to hide or to whom he intended to pay the money. But a person familiar with the allegations told The Associated Press that payments were intended to conceal claims that he sexually molested someone decades ago. The person spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, and the allegations are not contained in the indictment.
The May 28 indictment details a 2010 agreement between Hastert and a person identified only as “Individual A” to pay millions to “compensate for and conceal (Hastert’s) prior misconduct” against the unnamed individual.
The grand jury indictment notes that Hastert was a history teacher and coach from 1965 to 1981 in suburban Yorkville, west of Chicago. The other party “has been a resident of Yorkville and has known Hastert for most of Individual A’s life,” the document said, but other details weren’t included.
If convicted, Hastert faces a $250,000 fine and a maximum 5-year prison sentence on each of the two bank-regulations counts