Ex-House Speaker Hastert pleads guilty in hush-money case | Reuters

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert pleaded guilty on Wednesday to a federal financial crime in a hush-money case stemming from allegations of sexual misconduct, marking the dramatic downfall of a once powerful politician.

In exchange for the guilty plea, federal prosecutors recommended a sentence of zero to six months imprisonment, although the judge could sentence Hastert to up to five years in prison and fine him $250,000.

Hastert, 73, pleaded guilty to one count of "structuring" - withdrawing funds from bank accounts in amounts below $10,000 to evade bank reporting rules on large cash movements. Those rules exist to detect money laundering.