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Former House Speaker Hastert pleads guilty in hush-money case

Former Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert arrives at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse on October 28, 2015 in Chicago.
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Former Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert arrives at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse on October 28, 2015 in Chicago.

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert pleaded guilty on Wednesday to the second count of a federal indictment in a hush-money case.

Hastert pleaded guilty to "structuring," or evading requirements for banks to report large cash transactions. Hastert told a federal judge he knew he was doing something wrong when he "structured" bank withdrawals.

Hastert, who led the House for eight years before retiring in 2007, was indicted in May. He was accused of making illegal bank withdrawals for payoffs to keep sexual misconduct allegations under wraps — and lying about it to federal authorities.

The money was used to pay off a man identified only as "Individual A" to conceal "prior misconduct," the indictment says.

Federal law enforcement sources have said "Individual A" was a student at Yorkville High while Hastert was a teacher and coach there decades ago, and that the misconduct was sexual in nature.

Prosecutors asked for a prison sentence of up to six months for the ex-speaker.

He will remain free on bail pending a sentencing hearing on Feb. 29.

NBC News contributed to this report.