Woman who accused astronaut wife of improperly accessing bank account lied about claims, prosecutors say

Louise Hall
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A woman who claimed her ex-wife, a NASA astronaut working at the international space station, illegally accessed her bank account, has been charged with making false statements.

In what was thought to be the first criminal allegation against someone in space, Summer Worden accused her ex-wife NASA astronaut Anne McClain of improperly accessing her bank account on two occasions in January 2019, The New York Times reported.

However, prosecutors now allege that Ms Worden lied to authorities.

She has been charged with two counts of making false statements, according to a statement from the US Attorney’s office.

In 2019, the New York Times reported how Ms Worden accused Ms McClain of identity theft and improper access to Ms Worden’s private financial records amidst their tumultuous divorce.

The couple married in 2014, and Ms Worden filed for divorce in October 2018 when Ms McClain accused Ms Worden of assault, according to the report.

Ms Worden claimed that the accusation was a strategy to vilify her as part of a custody battle for Ms Worden’s son. Ms Worden denied committing assault and the assault case was later dismissed, according to The New York Times.

Ms McClain left for the international space station months later, when Ms Worden then discovered the bank account access and later filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission in March 2019, the report said.

The release from the attorney’s office said that the charges allege Ms Worden 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.

The indictment alleges she actually opened the account in April 2018 and did not change her login credentials until January 2019, according to the report from the attorney’s office.

“They’re trying to send me to prison for five years, which is the penalty, because I mistakenly recalled when I filed this FTC report that I had opened the account in September 2018,” Ms Worden told CNN on Wednesday. “But in fact, it was April. Then I went back and I made them aware of that.”

“I brought that to the attention of NASA IG investigators,” she added.

Ms McClain’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, was unable to provide a comment from Ms McClain when contacted by CNN.

The indictment was unsealed on Monday, according to the attorney’s release, and if convicted, Ms Worden faces up to five years in prison on each count and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.

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