Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert Gets Early Release From Prison

Law Firm Newswire



New York, NY(Law Firm Newswire) September 6, 2017 – Former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Dennis Hastert was moved from a federal prison to a halfway house in July to serve the remainder of a 15-month sentence for bank fraud.

Hastert, 75, was convicted for the illegal structuring of bank withdrawals to hide the sexual abuse of a student more than three decades ago. He served approximately 13 months of his sentence at the Federal Medical Center in Minnesota before being transferred to the Chicago Residential Reentry Management Office. He will undergo two years of supervised release.

“Although various sexual abuse allegations against Dennis Hastert have come to light, he can no longer be charged with those offenses due to the expiration of the statutes of limitations,” commented Peter Brill, a New York criminal defense attorney with Brill Legal Group, who is not involved in the case. “Individuals facing sexual abuse charges or being investigated for fraud should speak with an attorney immediately to ensure their rights are protected.”

Hastert admitted in 2015 that he had tried to evade the reporting requirements of federal banking laws. He withdrew $952,000 from four bank accounts via 106 or more individual transactions to avoid detection.

In his plea agreement, the former House speaker told prosecutors he made the withdrawals for someone identified in court as “Individual A.” The payments contributed to a $3.5 million off-the-books deal to buy Individual A’s silence for the sexual abuse he suffered as Hastert’s former student. As part of the arrangement, Hastert paid him around $1.7 million from 2010 to 2014. Hastert said Individual A later sued him, seeking payment for the outstanding $1.8 million.

During his sentencing in 2016, Hastert confessed to sexually abusing Individual A and other teenagers during his years as a Yorkville High School wrestling coach in Illinois. He said, “I want to apologize to the boys I mistreated when I was their coach. What I did was wrong and I regret it.”

Judge Thomas M. Durkin of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois called Hastert a “serial child molester” during sentencing. He pointed out the offenses were especially “disturbing” in nature as Hastert is the longest-serving Republican House speaker in history. The judge also ordered him to pay a $250,000 fine and join a sex offender treatment program. According to federal prosecutors, at least three other former students have come forward claiming they were sexually abused by Hastert between 1965 and 1981.

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