Former speaker of the House of Representatives, J. Dennis Hastert, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to federal charges that he illegally structured bank withdrawals and lied to the authorities about more than three million dollars he had promised to pay someone for misconduct that occurred decades ago.

Mr. Hastert is accused of withdrawing amounts less than $10,000 in order to avoid requirements that banks report larger sums. The charges are focused around financial transactions but have raised suspicions of sexual misconduct.

Ballard Spahr partner Charles Stillman, a criminal defense lawyer and former federal prosecutor in New York, said that if Mr. Hastert had paid the money without attempting to hide the withdrawals, he would not have been committing a crime.

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White Collar Defense/Internal Investigations