CHICAGO -- Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert is waiting to hear when he will be arraigned on federal bank-related charges.
The U.S. attorney's office in Chicago announced Thursday the 73-year-old Illinois Republican is accused of structuring the withdrawal of $952,000 in cash in order to evade the requirement that banks report cash transactions over $10,000. He's also accused of lying to the FBI.
Each count of the indictment carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The indictment says federal authorities began investigating Hastert's bank withdrawals in 2013.
Among the focuses of the FBI investigation was whether Hastert, in the words of the indictment, was "the victim of a criminal extortion related to, among other matters, his prior positions in government." The court document does not elaborate.
The indictment says Hastert agreed to pay $3.5 million to an unidentified person to hide "prior misconduct" against that person.
The indictment does not describe the misconduct Hastert was trying to conceal.
Federal prosecutors announced the charges Thursday.
A spokesman for the lobbying and law firm where Hastert worked in Washington, D.C., says the former House speaker has resigned.
The website for Dickstein Shapiro LLC had Hastert's biography as a "featured attorney" as late as Thursday afternoon, but Hastert's contact details appeared to have been removed from the website hours later.
Firm spokesman Jason Huntsman did not have further details.
Hastert was a little-known lawmaker from a suburban Chicago district when he became the speaker of the U.S. House in 1999.
He succeeded conservative firebrand Newt Gingrich. Hastert went on to become the GOP's longest-serving speaker. He served until 2007.