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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spokane astronaut scrutinized for accessing estranged wife’s bank account from space

In this Jan. 18, 2019 photo made available by NASA, Flight Engineer Anne McClain looks at a laptop computer screen inside the U.S. Destiny laboratory module of the International Space Station. McClain returned to Earth on June 24, 2019. She is among this year’s 10 honorees for the annual YWCA Spokane Women of Achievement awards. (Associated Press)
From staff reports

A Spokane native and decorated NASA astronaut is under scrutiny for accessing the bank account of her estranged spouse while aboard the International Space Station, according to the New York Times.

Summer Worden, a former Air Force intelligence officer and National Security Agency employee, filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission accusing Anne McClain of identity theft for improperly viewing the account. She has not alleged that McClain moved or used the funds in the bank account, the Times reported. Soon after Worden filed her complaint, Worden’s family reportedly filed a second complaint with NASA’s Office of Inspector General.

In sworn testimony to the inspector general, the Times reports that McClain did not deny that she accessed the account but told investigators she was acting with Worden’s permission and was using a password she had previously used and was never told to stop using. She said she viewed the account to ensure her family’s financial well-being in her absence.

Rusty Hardin, McClain’s lawyer, reportedly said his client “strenuously denies that she did anything improper” and “is totally cooperating” with investigators.

The Spokesman-Review’s efforts to reach Hardin late Friday were unsuccessful.

Worden’s allegations come amidst a lengthy separation and parenting dispute between the pair.

McClain went to court in 2018 seeking shared parenting rights and the sole right to designate the residence of Worden’s son, who was born about a year before the two met, the Times reported. Later the same year, McClain reportedly accused Worden of assault. Those charges were dismissed.