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Local

Stories of the Year: Hastert pleads guilty to bank fraud

Former House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert greets guests in 2010 to the grand opening of the Stearns Road Bridge Corridor.
Former House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert greets guests in 2010 to the grand opening of the Stearns Road Bridge Corridor.

Former Republican House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, of Plano, who served as the U.S. representative of the 14th Congressional District for 20 years, pleaded guilty in October to bank fraud charges connected to $1.7 million he paid to cover up what federal officials said was sexual misconduct dating to his years as a high school teacher and coach.

Hastert’s district office had been in Batavia. Hastert, 73, is scheduled to be sentenced in 2016, and prosecutors were recommending up to a six-month prison sentence.

He was charged in May with structuring cash withdrawals of $952,000 to evade currency reporting laws and then lying to the FBI about it.

The person receiving Hastert’s payments was identified in the charges only as Individual A – a person who lives in Yorkville, where Hastert lived previously – and as someone who knew Hastert all his life. This person met with the former speaker in 2010 to discuss what the charges refer to as Hastert’s “prior misconduct,” according to the charges.

Hastert was hospitalized after a stroke in November, his attorney Tom Green, told The Associated Press.

– Brenda Schory

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