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Thursday, December 8, 2016

By Mary Wisniewski

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has reached a deal with prosecutors and expects to plead guilty to wrongdoing in a hush-money case, his lawyers told a federal judge in Chicago on Thursday.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys did not say what the charges were, or whether Hastert, the Republican speaker from 1999 to 2007, would serve time in prison.

He was charged in May with trying to hide large cash transactions as part of a hush-money scheme and with lying to the FBI.

The agreement is expected to be submitted to U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin on Monday, attorneys for Hastert said during a brief court appearance. Hastert did not attend.

Hastert is scheduled to plead guilty on Oct. 28.

Federal prosecutors allege he promised to pay $3.5 million to an unnamed individual from his hometown of Yorkville, Illinois, to conceal past misconduct.

The individual who was allegedly receiving hush money from Hastert has not surfaced publicly. But anonymous law enforcement officials have told a number of media outlets that Hastert was trying to cover up sexual abuse of a male decades ago when he worked as a high school teacher and wrestling coach.

(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski; Writing by David Bailey; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Jeffrey Benkoe)

Former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Dennis Hastert is surrounded by officers as he leaves federal court after pleading not guilty to federal charges of trying to hide large cash transactions and lying to the FBI in Chicago, Illinois, United States, June 9, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Young