Former GOP Speaker of the House indicted …
Former Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-IL) was indicted on federal charges of tax evasion and lying to the FBI. As reported at the WAPO, in 2010, Hastert agreed to give an unnamed person $3.5 million “to compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct against Individual A.” The “prior misconduct” occurred before Hastert entered politics in 1981 as he was elected to the Illinois state House in the election of 1980. It would appear that Hastert was paying $3.5 million in hush money to an individual and got busted.
Read the Indictment HERE.
The Justice Department has indicted former House Speaker Dennis Hastert on reporting evasion charges and lying to the FBI as part of an effort to conceal paying off the victim of “prior bad acts.
In an indictment handed down in the District Court of Northern Illinois, the Department of Justice and IRS charged Hastert, 73, with illegally transferring funds in an effort to avoid detection by the IRS, a scheme known as “structuring.”
In the indictment, Hastert is accused of agreeing to pay one individual $3.5 million.
Although the indictment does not specify the “bad acts,” sources said they could be from before Hastert, who is now a lobbyist in Washington, entered politics in 1980. The indictment does, however, claim that Hastert agreed to make the payments “[d]uring … 2010 meetings and subsequent discussions.” In at least one of those meetings, according to the indictment, Hastert and the individual “discussed past misconduct by [Hastert against the individual] that had occurred years earlier.”
The bail amount, included in court documents made public Friday, will allow Mr. Hastert to stay out of custody until he is scheduled to appear in court for an arraignment. An arraignment hasn’t yet been scheduled, but will probably take place in the coming days.
Mr. Hastert hasn’t appeared in public or commented on the charges. The case was assigned to U.S. Judge Thomas Durkin.
UPDATE II: So what is the law that Denis Hastert broke?
* The law Hastert allegedly broke dictates that any cash withdrawal over $10,000 be accompanied by a Currency Transaction Report filed by the bank to the federal government. “The federal law requiring these reports was passed to safeguard the financial industry from threats posed by money laundering and other financial crime,” according to the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN). “To comply with this law, financial institutions must obtain personal identification information about the individual conducting the transaction such as a Social Security number as well as a driver’s license or other government issued document. This requirement applies whether the individual conducting the transaction has an account relationship with the institution or not.” These regulations grew out of the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970, which is formally known as the “Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act of 1970.”
* The federal investigation into Hastert’s withdrawal practice began in 2013 due to concerns that Hastert was “structuring” withdrawals to avoid the reporting requirements. Structuring, which is also called “smurfing,” is a purposeful attempt to break up large cash withdrawals to keep them from drawing scrutiny. It’s a common practice in money laundering and gambling. Between June 2010 and April 2012, Hastert took $50,000 out of his bank accounts on 15 different occasions. When questioned about those practices by bank officials, Hastert began taking out less than $10,000 at a time to avoid detection, a classic case of structuring or smurfing, if true.
* When confronted about his withdrawals by federal officials in late 2014, Hastert allegedly lied — insisting that he was keeping the cash for himself. Hastert said that he “did not feel safe with the banking system,” adding: “Yeah … I kept the cash. That’s what I’m doing.” Lying to federal officials is, obviously, a crime.
UPDATE III: Hastert resigns lobbying position after indictment.
Former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) has resigned from his position as a lobbyist at law and lobby firm Dickstein Shapiro following a federal indictment released Thursday, according to a firm spokesman.
“Dennis Hastert has resigned from the firm. Scott Thomas will continue to lead the Public Policy & Political Law Practice,” a firm spokesman said in an email to The Hill.
Hastert’s biography was removed from the firm’s website Thursday. In a statement issued late Thursday, a Dickstein Shapiro spokesman said only that “Dennis Hastert has resigned from the firm.” Hastert also resigned Thursday from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange board, according to reports.