Summer Worden made headlines last August for accusing her estranged wife, astronaut Anne McClain, of hacking her bank account from space.
Worden submitted the allegation — that Worden breached her finances from the International Space Station — to the Federal Trade Commission and via interview to NASA's Office of the Inspector General. The women have been in the middle of divorce proceedings, with McClain also accusing Worden of physical abuse.
Now the 44-year-old Worden has been indicted. A federal grand jury in Houston charged the Kansas native in February with two counts of giving false statements to federal officials, The New York Times reports. If found guilty, Worden faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count.
The grand jury takes issue with the timeline established by Worden, who claimed she had to create a new bank account in September 2018 and a new login as security measures against her partner; Worden opened the account in April 2018, the indictment claims.
Worden told the Times that the dates she submitted to investigators were mistakes. “I didn’t misrepresent anything,” she said.
Worden has a son born one year before the couple met. She would not allow McClain to adopt him even after they married in 2014. McClain is now fighting for custody rights.
Both women have had impressive careers in the military. McClain is a lieutenant colonel in the Army and almost became part of the first all-women moonwalk in 2019 before issues with spacesuit sizing derailed the expedition. Worden is a former intelligence officer for the Air Force.
After Worden made the hacking allegations in 2019, McClain denied them on Twitter. “There’s unequivocally no truth to these claims. We’ve been going through a painful, personal separation that’s now unfortunately in the media,” she wrote. “I appreciate the outpouring of support and will reserve comment until after the investigation. I have total confidence in the IG process.”
Last year, McClain's attorney told the Times that the astronaut had been conducting a routine check of the family's finances from the space station and had not been told by Worden that the bank account was off-limits.