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NASA is investigating a possible first allegation of criminal misconduct in space



NASA is investigating the claim that an astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS) has improperly accessed his estranged spouse's bank account, noting what may be the first allegation of criminal activity out of space.

The New York Times reported on Friday that NASA astronaut Anne McClain told investigators he had access to his husband's bank account during his six-month mission on the ISS in preparation for NASA's first space shuttle.

McClain's husband, a former Air Force scout Summer Worden, complained to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that McClain had committed identity theft, though Worden said she did not notice any funds being moved or spent.

Worden's parents later filed a second complaint with the NASA's Office of the Inspector General, accusing McClain of improperly accessing private financial records for conducting a "highly calculated and manipulative campaign" to win custody of Worden's son.

NASA did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

Rusty Hardin, McCain's lawyer, told the Times that he "firmly denies that she did anything wrong" and is "fully cooperating," with the investigation. Hardin said McCain was monitoring the account of concerns about Worden's son whom they both grew up using the password to access the account they used during their relationship.

"I was pretty horrified that it would go that far. I knew it was wrong," Worden tells The Times, adding that the FTC has not yet responded to her claim.

Investigators General NASA inspector spoke with the two women, reports The Times. McClain was reported in an interview with an oath guard last week that she continues only behavior that Worden has approved to handle the family's finances, the newspaper reported.

McClain and Worden file for divorce in 201

8 after about four years of marriage, divorcing after McClain accused her husband of assault. Warden told the Times that he believed the allegation was part of a long-standing effort to secure custody of his son. Worden denied the attack and the case was later dismissed.

Worden did not open access to the bank account until a few months after the attack claim, after McClain had already gone into space.

NASA told The Times that the allegations against McClain did not play a role in the agency's decision to cancel the historic space shuttle, adding that the agency was not aware of crimes committed by the ISS.


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