The Chicago Tribune said the quick profit came on property bought and sold in three years near the route of a proposed freeway in western Chicago. The property near Plano, Ill., was sold three months after the transportation bill was signed into law.
Hastert spokesman Ron Bonjean denied the land, 5 1/2 miles from the proposed Prairie Parkway route, rose in value because of the highway project.
Hastert's annual House financial disclosure report revealed the transaction. A partner, Dallas Ingemunson, told the Tribune the speaker got five-eighths of the land sale proceeds, a reported profit of more than $1.5 million.
The Sunlight Foundation, an ethics advocacy group, charged that the Republican lawmaker sought to conceal his interest by handling the sale through a land trust that did not publicly identify him as a partner.