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Former House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert faces charges

Former House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert faces charges
In this March 5, 2008, file photo, former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert speaks to lawmakers on the Illinois House of Representatives floor at the state Capitol in Springfield, Ill. Federal prosecutors have indicted the former U.S. House Speaker on bank-related charges. (Seth Perlman / AP)

Federal prosecutors announced bank-related charges against former House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert on Thursday, accusing the 73-year-old Illinois Republican of withdrawing $952,000 in cash in a way that evaded the requirement that banks report cash transactions over $10,000.

He is also accused of lying to the FBI.

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Each count of the indictment carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago.

From 2010 to 2014, Hastert withdrew a total of about $1.7 million in cash from various bank accounts and provided it to a person identified only as Individual A, according to the indictment.

In December, "Hastert falsely stated that he was keeping the cash" when questioned by the FBI, the prosecutor's statement says.

Hastert, a former high school wrestling coach, was a little-known lawmaker from suburban Chicago when he was chosen to succeed conservative Newt Gingrich as speaker. Hastert was picked after favored Louisiana Rep. Bob Livingston resigned following his admission of several sexual affairs.

As speaker, Hastert pushed President George W. Bush's legislative agenda, helping to pass a massive tax cut and expanding Medicare prescription drug benefits.

He retired from Congress in 2007, after eight years as speaker, making him the longest-serving Republican House speaker.

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