Washington, May 30 (IANS/EFE): Dennis Hastert, who served as speaker of the US House of Representatives from 1999 to 2007, paid out $1.7 million to conceal sexual misconduct dating from his time as a high school teacher and coach, media reports said, citing unnamed sources familiar with the case.
Various sources, including officials, told media outlets such as ABC News, CNN and The New York Times that Hastert made the payoffs to someone - possibly a former student - to keep the person from coming forward with allegations of sexual misconduct.
The US Department of Justice indicted the Illinois Republican on Thursday on charges that he evaded currency-reporting requirements and lied to the FBI about a series of large cash withdrawals from banks.
Hastert, 73, used that money, according to the indictment, to buy the silence of someone identified in court documents as "Individual A", regarding unspecified misconduct years earlier.
While offering no information about the nature of the misconduct, the indictment said that Hastert's 1965-1981 tenure as a teacher and wrestling coach in Yorkville, Illinois, is "material" to the charges.
Hastert, who entered Congress in 1987, went to work for lobbyists Dickstein Shapiro LLC in 2008.