News and Commentary

She Accused Her Astronaut Ex Of Hacking Into Her Bank Account. Federal Prosecutors Now Say She Lied.
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A woman who accused her ex of a crime during a bitter divorce has been indicted on charges of making false statements to NASA’s Office of Inspector General and the Federal Trade Commission.

Summer Worden, 44, claimed last year that her famous and estranged astronaut wife Anne McClain had improperly accessed Worden’s bank account while in outer space. As The Daily Wire reported at the time, “Worden, a former Air Force intelligence officer, notified the Federal Trade Commission and filed a complaint with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Inspector General. McClain, bank records showed, had accessed the bank account while preparing for NASA’s first all-female spacewalk aboard the International Space Station.”

McClain’s attorney said the astronaut was doing her regular duty managing the couple’s finances and that at no time was she told by Worden to stop accessing that particular account.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas appears to agree with McClain after an investigation into Worden’s claims. U.S. Attorney Ryan Patrick issued a press release announcing Worden was indicted for lying to federal authorities:

According to the indictment, Worden maintained multiple bank accounts at USAA Federal Savings Bank. She allegedly shared access to her online accounts with a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army on detail to NASA’s Johnson Space Center who had access until at least Jan. 31, 2019.

The indictment alleges Worden filed a complaint with the FTC, alleging the officer had improperly accessed her bank account. She claimed she had opened a new account in September 2018 and reset her login credentials in order to prevent the individual from accessing her accounts, according to the charges. However, the indictment alleges she actually opened the account in April 2018 and did not change her login credentials until January 2019.

The indictment charges Worden with making false statements on two occasions. She allegedly filed the false complaint March 19, 2019, with the FTC and later made a false statement in an interview with NASA-OIG July 22, 2019.

Worden told The New York Times that she accidentally gave the wrong date for when she opened the account but later gave federal authorities the correct one. She also told the outlet that she meant to change her login credentials when she created the account and still felt it was wrong for McClain to access their finances during their divorce.

The couple was married in 2014 and filed for divorce in 2018. Worden had a son the year before she met McClain, and the astronaut requested shared parenting rights for the child during the divorce because she “was there for his first steps and first words” and that she shared ‘a very healthy and deep parental relationship’ with the boy.”

McClain told the Times through her attorney, Rusty Hardin, that she only accessed Worden’s account to maintain their finances as she had always done and to ensure there was enough money in the account to care for the child. She said Worden never told her to stop accessing the account.

If convicted, Worden faces up to five years in prison for each of the two counts with which she was charged and a maximum fine of up to $250,000.

Worden’s allegations were the first accusation that a crime had taken place in outer space.