The SPECIAL FEBRUARY 2014 GRAND JURY further charges:
The allegations contained in paragraphs 1(a)-1(l) of Count One of
this Indictment are realleged and incorporated herein.
Beginning no later than July 2012, and continuing until on or around December 6, 2014, in the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, and elsewhere, JOHN DENNIS HASTERT, defendant herein, did knowingly and for the purpose of evading the reporting requirements of Title 31, United States Code, Section 5313(a) and regulations prescribed thereunder, structure and assist in structuring transactions at Old Second Bank, People’s State Bank, Castle Bank and Chase Bank by withdrawing and causing the withdrawal of $952,000 in United States currency in amounts under $10,000 in separate transactions on at least 106 occasions; In violation of Title 31, United States Code, Section 5324(a)(3).
Who is the real victim here?
I realize Hastert isn’t a lawyer, but how does a guy who was at the top of DC food chain not realize that this isn’t going to work?
What happened is that Hastert started withdrawing $50K in cash at a time to pay off his extorter. Protip: if you’re going to cover up malfeasance via cash transactions, bone up on your banking laws first. Banks have to report cash transactions of $10K or more. So after Hastert took out more than that on several separate occasions, bank officials had a chat with him (He had the legal right to make such withdrawals, but part of the banks’ reporting obligations is to try to figure out why the nice old man down the street keeps coming in every second Thursday with a suitcase and asking the teller to fill it with $50,000 in unmarked bills).
After it’s explained to him that the bank has an obligation to report these transactions to the IRS, Hastert gets the bright idea that he’ll just go to the bank a lot more often, and take out slightly less than $10,000 each time. They’ll never catch him now! Except the federal government also has a rule that structuring transactions with malice aforethought to avoid the reporting requirements is illegal.
On top of all that, lying to the feds about why you keep taking out suitcases full of cash from your many different bank accounts is also a crime all by itself.
Again, how does someone like Hastert not know this already? In particular, how does he let himself be interviewed by the FBI without his lawyers there?
I guess there’s a pretty obvious answer, under the circumstances, to the second question.