NASA reportedly investigating first allegation of crime committed in space

By Danielle Garrand

/ CBS News

Backlash as NASA cancels all-female spacewalk

Astronaut Anne McClain is facing the first allegation of a crime committed in space, reports The New York Times. McClain's estranged wife, Summer Worden, accused the astronaut of accessing her bank account while on a six-month mission aboard the International Space Station.

The pair have been in the midst of a separation and custody dispute over Worden's young son for the majority of the past year, according to The Times. Worden became suspicious when she says she discovered that McClain knew details about her spending.

Worden, a former Air Force intelligence officer, asked her bank about the locations of devices that had used her login information to recently access her account. She reportedly found that one computer network used was registered to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Trending News

While McClain confirmed that she accessed the bank account while in space, her lawyer told The Times that she was tending to the couple's finances.

Worden disputed the claim and filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. Her family also submitted a complaint with NASA's Office of Inspector General, accusing McClain of identity theft and saying she had improper access to Worden's private financial records.

McClain categorically denied the allegations on Twitter. "There's unequivocally no truth to these claims," she wrote Sunday. "We've been going through a painful, personal separation that's now unfortunately in the media." She added that she will reserve comment until the investigation is finished, but appreciated the "outpouring of support."

The astronaut garnered increased media attention earlier this year after she was pulled from the planned first-ever spacewalk by two female astronauts. NASA scrapped the historic spacewalk, citing a lack of available spacesuits that would fit them at the International Space Station — and replaced McClain with a male astronaut.

McClain, who graduated from West Point and is still a lieutenant colonel in the Army, is one of the 12 female astronauts who could be the first woman on the moon by 2024, Stars and Stripes reported last week.

There’s unequivocally no truth to these claims. We’ve been going through a painful, personal separation that’s now unfortunately in the media. I appreciate the outpouring of support and will reserve comment until after the investigation. I have total confidence in the IG process.

— Anne McClain (@AstroAnnimal) August 24, 2019

Last week, she submitted an interview under oath with the inspector general and claimed she was doing what she has in the past — with Worden's seal of approval — to ensure the family's financial situation was in order.

"She strenuously denies that she did anything improper," her lawyer, Rusty Hardin, told The Times. Hardin said his client is fully cooperating with the inspector general's investigation.

Hardin added that McClain was attempting to ensure there was enough money in Worden's account to pay bills and care for Worden's son, whom the pair had been raising. Hardin has not yet responded to CBS News' request for comment.

In a statement obtained by CBS News, NASA touted the astronaut's achievements but said it "does not comment on personal or personnel matters."

"Lt Col. Anne McClain has an accomplished military career, flew combat missions in Iraq and is one of NASA's top astronauts," the agency wrote. "She did a great job on her most recent NASA mission aboard the International Space Station."

Michael Mataya, an investigator specializing in criminal cases with NASA's Office of Inspector General and another official have reportedly been looking into allegations against McClain. The trade commission has yet to respond to the report of identity theft, according to Worden.

First published on August 25, 2019 / 1:20 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Argentina's Italian heritage

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries Buenos Aires experienced a massive wave of Italian immigration; today an estimated 62% of Argentinians can claim Italian roots

3H ago italian-and-argentine-dance-in-buenos-aires-promo.jpg France G7 Summit Trump

Trump regrets not raising China tariffs higher, White House says

The president had earlier signaled some remorse for an escalating trade war with China at the G-7 summit in France

1H ago France G7 Summit Trump cbsn-fusion-prince-andrew-denis-any-involvement-in-epsteins-alleged-sex-trafficking-ring-thumbnail-1915035-640x360.jpg

Prince Andrew denies seeing suspicious Jeffrey Epstein behavior

"At no stage during the limited time I spent with him did I see, witness or suspect any behavior of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction," Andrew said

22H ago cbsn-fusion-prince-andrew-denis-any-involvement-in-epsteins-alleged-sex-trafficking-ring-thumbnail-1915035-640x360.jpg An aerial picture shows a fire raging in the Amazon rainforest about 40 miles from Porto Velho, Brazil, on August 23, 2019.

Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon rainforest fires

The Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries who believe Bolsonaro has neglected commitments to protect biodiversity

22H ago An aerial picture shows a fire raging in the Amazon rainforest about 40 miles from Porto Velho, Brazil, on August 23, 2019. FRANCE-G7-SUMMIT

Trump attends dinner at G-7 summit after days of bashing allies

Mr. Trump had lunch with French President Emmanuel Macron ahead of a dinner with other G-7 members

22H ago FRANCE-G7-SUMMIT RUSSIA-US-CANADA-SPACE-ISS

NASA investigating first allegation of crime in space

Anne McClain, a decorated astronaut who was slotted to be a part of the first-ever all-female spacewalk, was accused of accessing her estranged wife's bank account while aboard the International Space Station

9M ago RUSSIA-US-CANADA-SPACE-ISS sm-calendar-generic-aug-26.jpg

Calendar: Week of August 26

From the MTV Music Video Awards to the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II, "Sunday Morning" takes a look at some notable events of the week ahead

14M ago sm-calendar-generic-aug-26.jpg graham.jpg

Graham warns Trump against "really risky" Afghanistan drawdown

Many of the Democrats vying to challenge the president in 2020 have vowed to withdraw American forces from Afghanistan

1H ago graham.jpg kudlow1.jpg

Kudlow: China is bearing the brunt of trade war with U.S

The White House economic adviser dismissed fears that reciprocal protectionist policies between the two economic giants will harm the American economy and precipitate a potential recession

2H ago kudlow1.jpg U.S Stocks Fall After China Imposes Retaliatory Tariffs

CBS poll on the economy: Optimism, but Trump tweets and trade raise concerns

New CBS News poll also finds partisanship plays a role in perceptions of Americans' financial situations

3H ago U.S Stocks Fall After China Imposes Retaliatory Tariffs graham.jpg

Graham warns Trump against "really risky" Afghanistan drawdown

Many of the Democrats vying to challenge the president in 2020 have vowed to withdraw American forces from Afghanistan

1H ago graham.jpg kudlow1.jpg

Kudlow: China is bearing the brunt of trade war with U.S

The White House economic adviser dismissed fears that reciprocal protectionist policies between the two economic giants will harm the American economy and precipitate a potential recession

2H ago kudlow1.jpg U.S Stocks Fall After China Imposes Retaliatory Tariffs

CBS poll on the economy: Optimism, but Trump tweets and trade raise concerns

New CBS News poll also finds partisanship plays a role in perceptions of Americans' financial situations

3H ago U.S Stocks Fall After China Imposes Retaliatory Tariffs House GOP

Joe Walsh, former congressman, to challenge Trump in 2020 primary

Walsh announced his candidacy during an interview on ABC's "This Week'"​ on Sunday

3H ago House GOP France G7 Summit Trump

Trump regrets not raising China tariffs higher, White House says

The president had earlier signaled some remorse for an escalating trade war with China at the G-7 summit in France

1H ago France G7 Summit Trump tswiftreputation-1919243-640x360.jpg

Entertainment

Taylor Swift on "Reputation"

In this web exclusive video Taylor Swift talked with Tracy Smith about her 2017 album "Reputation," which touched on celebrity and the pressures of fame and media attention.

3H ago 00:46 tswiftreputation-1919243-640x360.jpg 0824-tswift-thickskin-1919256-640x360.jpg

Taylor Swift's thick skin

Web exclusive video: Taylor Smith explains to correspondent Tracy Smith how she's evolved a means to deal with critics.

3H ago 00:49 0824-tswift-thickskin-1919256-640x360.jpg 0824-tswift-family-1919248-640x360.jpg

Taylor Swift on her family's support of her career

At age 13 Taylor Swift was signed to a development deal by RCA Records. As she tells Tracy Smith in this web exclusive video, her family agreed to pull up stakes and move from Pennsylvania to Nashville for the sake of her career.

3H ago 00:30 0824-tswift-family-1919248-640x360.jpg taylor-swift-interview-1280.jpg

Taylor Swift on "Lover" and haters

The 10-time Grammy-winner – the highest-paid celebrity on the planet – opens up about songwriting, family, critics, the sale of her back catalog, and the quality of forgiveness

3H ago taylor-swift-interview-1280.jpg 0825-sunmo-taylorswiftlover-1919597-640x360.jpg

Taylor Swift on "Lover" and haters

After only 13 years since the release of her first album, Taylor Swift has become a musical force of nature, with an armload of #1 hits, more Grammy Awards than The Rolling Stones, and (according to Forbes) the distinction of being the highest-paid celebrity on the planet. By any measure, an astonishing young woman. But there were times, she tells Tracy Smith, that being young, and a woman, has worked against her. She opens up to Smith about songwriting; her supportive family; critics and stalkers; the sale of her back catalog; and what the future looks like to her. She also invites Smith on the set of the new music video for her latest album, "Lover."

1H ago 11:56 0825-sunmo-taylorswiftlover-1919597-640x360.jpg 082419-abort2.jpg

Unpiloted Soyuz spacecraft aborts space station docking

Russian flight controllers hope to make a second docking attempt after troubleshooting

22H ago 082419-abort2.jpg Hong Kong protests

YouTube shuts over 200 channels with Hong Kong disinformation

The decision follows the suspension​ of hundreds of thousands of Twitter and Facebook accounts tied to the Chinese government

Aug 23 Hong Kong protests 0511-en-werner-robocalls-1314036-640x360.jpg

Phone carriers will block some robocalls for free

AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon will start offering blocking software and move to halt fake caller ID numbers

Aug 22 0511-en-werner-robocalls-1314036-640x360.jpg FRANCE-US-INTERNET-SOCIAL-NETWORK-INSTAGRAM

Instagram says there's "no truth" to new hoax post, so don't share it

The fake notice has already fooled many of your friends and many celebrities

Aug 22 FRANCE-US-INTERNET-SOCIAL-NETWORK-INSTAGRAM cbsn-fusion-facebook-contractors-listened-transcribed-audio-messages-thumbnail-1911912-640x360.jpg

Facebook will let users see how company tracks them

Users will be able to disconnect their account from data Facebook gathers elsewhere on the web—after a wait period

Aug 21 cbsn-fusion-facebook-contractors-listened-transcribed-audio-messages-thumbnail-1911912-640x360.jpg Fire in an area of the Amazon rainforest near Humaita, Brazil

Brazil officials call Amazon fire outrage "sensationalist"

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro encouraged development in the Amazon rainforest. Now he's calling global backlash "sensationalist"

Aug 23 Fire in an area of the Amazon rainforest near Humaita, Brazil Amazon jungle fire

What you can do to help the burning Amazon rainforest

The Amazon is the largest rainforest in the world and vital to combating climate change — and it's on fire with no end in sight

Aug 23 Amazon jungle fire triceratops-at-american-museum-of-natural-history-judy-lehmberg.jpg

Nature up close: A trip to the American Museum of Natural History

Visiting New York City's Mecca for any natural history fanatic

Aug 23 triceratops-at-american-museum-of-natural-history-judy-lehmberg.jpg 68548885-2433472356719179-270933847066017792-n.jpg

New York woman catches fish with 2 mouths

The catch was made in Lake Champlain, which is rumored to have its own Loch Ness-like sea monster

Aug 22 68548885-2433472356719179-270933847066017792-n.jpg phillips-shark-tagging-082219-newspath-frame-2591.jpg

Sharks gather for annual underwater mating dance

Every year, sharks gather for their annual underwater mating dance and scientists are there to catch them

Aug 22 phillips-shark-tagging-082219-newspath-frame-2591.jpg dyslexia-louisiana-key-academy-promo.jpg

Cracking the code of dyslexia

Researchers who say one in five children they studied was dyslexic have also found there is no link at all between dyslexia and intelligence

4H ago dyslexia-louisiana-key-academy-promo.jpg Vaping an e-cigarette

Illinois patient may be first vaping-related fatality in nation

At least 22 people have developed some type of respiratory illness after vaping or using e-cigarettes

18H ago Vaping an e-cigarette 0824-satmo-vapingdeath-werner-1919028-640x360.jpg

Officials investigate 193 lung disease cases among vapers

Officials are investigating 193 possible cases of severe lung illness associated with vaping in 22 states

Aug 24 0824-satmo-vapingdeath-werner-1919028-640x360.jpg Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Attends Discussion At Georgetown Law

Ruth Bader Ginsburg completes radiation therapy

The radiation therapy was administered to treat a tumor on her pancreas

Aug 23 Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Attends Discussion At Georgetown Law djqftu8tqfwwr02o5rt21g.jpg

Front lawn becomes a stage for house-ridden boy

Quinn Waters lives in a world all his own, but he's not lonely — not anymore

Aug 23 djqftu8tqfwwr02o5rt21g.jpg Trump

Trump hiking U.S. tariffs on $550 billion in Chinese imports

Conflict takes a dangerous new turn as the Trump administration and China exchange blows over trade

Aug 24 Trump US-CHINA-TRADE-POLITICS-TARIFFS

Stocks crumble as U.S.-China trade war heats up

Investors on edge as China hikes tariffs on U.S. goods and President Trump vows to hit back

Aug 23 US-CHINA-TRADE-POLITICS-TARIFFS President Donald Trump Meets With Romanian President Klaus Iohannis At The White House

Trump orders U.S. companies to seek "alternatives" to China

Responding to China tariffs, the president leaned on American companies to make "your products in the USA"

Aug 23 President Donald Trump Meets With Romanian President Klaus Iohannis At The White House Close up of one hundred Dollar and 100 Yaun banknotes with focus on portraits of Benjamin Franklin and Mao Tse-tung/USA vs China trade war concept

China hikes tariffs on U.S. goods in latest trade war salvo

Tit-for-tat levies are the latest salvo in the escalating trade war between the world's two biggest economies

Aug 23 Close up of one hundred Dollar and 100 Yaun banknotes with focus on portraits of Benjamin Franklin and Mao Tse-tung/USA vs China trade war concept A police cordon is seen after a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso

Walmart and other retailers face a new front on gun sales: Lawsuits

Nation's biggest retailer has settled with at least two families of people killed in a mass shooting

Aug 23 A police cordon is seen after a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso fallisashleykids.jpg

The search for answers in Colo. mom's shooting death

Ashley Fallis, a mother of three, was shot dead in her bedroom with her own gun — was it suicide?

14H ago fallisashleykids.jpg ap6608010465.jpg

America's deadliest mass shootings

These are the deadliest mass shootings in American history

Aug 5 40 photos ap6608010465.jpg Tom and Ashley Fallis

Investigative missteps in death ruled suicide?

A Colorado mom died of a single gunshot wound to the head in the early morning hours of Jan. 1, 2012 — but who pulled the trigger has been the subject of debate

14H ago Tom and Ashley Fallis Hurricane Irma

Nursing home workers face arrest over Hurricane Irma deaths

Jorge Carballo and Sergo Colin could face twelve counts of manslaughter, according to their attorneys. Two other employees, both nurses, are expected to face less serious charges

20H ago Hurricane Irma cbsn-fusion-prince-andrew-denis-any-involvement-in-epsteins-alleged-sex-trafficking-ring-thumbnail-1915035-640x360.jpg

Prince Andrew denies seeing suspicious Jeffrey Epstein behavior

"At no stage during the limited time I spent with him did I see, witness or suspect any behavior of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction," Andrew said

22H ago cbsn-fusion-prince-andrew-denis-any-involvement-in-epsteins-alleged-sex-trafficking-ring-thumbnail-1915035-640x360.jpg RUSSIA-US-CANADA-SPACE-ISS

NASA investigating first allegation of crime in space

Anne McClain, a decorated astronaut who was slotted to be a part of the first-ever all-female spacewalk, was accused of accessing her estranged wife's bank account while aboard the International Space Station

9M ago RUSSIA-US-CANADA-SPACE-ISS 082419-abort2.jpg

Unpiloted Soyuz spacecraft aborts space station docking

Russian flight controllers hope to make a second docking attempt after troubleshooting

22H ago 082419-abort2.jpg image1.jpg

Rocket launches GPS satellite into orbit for Air Force

The new satellite is the second in a new generation of advanced navigation beacons

Aug 22 image1.jpg 082119-skybot.jpg

Humanoid robot "commands" Russian rocket test flight

The humanoid robot is known as Skybot F-850 and as FEDOR; the test flight was needed to clear an upgraded Soyuz booster to launch human crews to the space station

Aug 22 082119-skybot.jpg ripitup.jpg

Black hole possibly swallowed neutron star, causing ripples in space

The cosmic collision could be the first example of a black hole colliding with a neutron star — possibly offering new insights into the expansion of the universe

Aug 21 ripitup.jpg ashleyfallisparents.jpg

Ashley Fallis death: A family's fight for justice

Was the Colorado mother's 2012 death a suicide, as her husband maintains, or was it murder, as her parents insist?

14H ago 15 photos ashleyfallisparents.jpg intro-slide.jpg

World's most polluted cities

Air pollution can cause serious health problems for people who are exposed to it, even for just a few minutes

Aug 23 51 photos intro-slide.jpg Fire in an area of the Amazon rainforest near Humaita, Brazil

Pictures from the Amazon rainforest fires

A record number of fires have devastated the Amazon rainforest in Brazil and neighboring countries

Aug 22 28 photos Fire in an area of the Amazon rainforest near Humaita, Brazil corbett-1.jpg

Jason Corbett murder: A look at the evidence

In August 2015, former FBI agent Tom Martens and his daughter Molly Corbett admitted killing her Irish-born husband Jason Corbett, insisting they beat him in self-defense with a brick paver and a baseball bat because Jason was choking Molly and threatening to kill her

Aug 17 11 photos corbett-1.jpg Ashley Ellerin, left, Tricia Pacaccio, center, and Maria Bruno.

Michael Gargiulo case: Stabbing deaths of three women linked to suspected serial killer

Investigators link murders of Tricia Pacaccio, Ashley Ellerin and Maria Bruno to same suspect: Michael Gargiulo

Aug 15 13 photos Ashley Ellerin, left, Tricia Pacaccio, center, and Maria Bruno.  cbsn-fusion-nfl-colts-quarterback-andrew-luck-retires-from-football-thumbnail-1919697-640x360.jpg

Popular

Colts QB Luck retires from NFL

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck announced his retirement from football at the age of 29. Luck spoke after a preseason game Saturday night, calling his decision the hardest of his life. Luck played for seven season and, though plagued by injuries, set the Colts' passing yards record, among other notable statistics.

updated 34M ago 01:20 cbsn-fusion-nfl-colts-quarterback-andrew-luck-retires-from-football-thumbnail-1919697-640x360.jpg 0825-ftn-panel-1919667-640x360.jpg

Can the White House calm economic uncertainty?

Michael Graham, Anne Gearan and Joshua Johnson discuss the state of the economy heading into 2020.

updated 58M ago 08:15 0825-ftn-panel-1919667-640x360.jpg 0825-ftn-joshbolten-1919660-640x360.jpg

White House "not reflecting" view of U.S. businesses on trade, head of CEO group says

Josh Bolten, president and CEO of the Business Roundtable, joins Margaret Brennan to discuss how business leaders are handling market uncertainty amid the administration's ongoing trade war with China.

updated 58M ago 06:57 0825-ftn-joshbolten-1919660-640x360.jpg master-farming-climate-1920x1080notyt-1898130-640x360.jpg

A climate reckoning in the heartland

A historic flood in March 2019 left much of America's heartland under water. Grain farmers already struggling to bounce back from the Chinese trade war must now grapple with the realities of climate change that threaten to change the future of farming forever. Now, some farmers are implementing practices that could potentially reverse the effects of climate change – and provide a bigger profit. In this CBSN Originals documentary, Adam Yamaguchi travels to Nebraska, where he meets two farmers on different paths, both determined to pass their legacies on to the next generation.

Jul 26 23:07 master-farming-climate-1920x1080notyt-1898130-640x360.jpg 0825-ftn-amyklobuchar-1919655-640x360.jpg

Klobuchar: Trump uses tariffs "like a meat cleaver"

2020 Democratic presidential candidate Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota joins Margaret Brennan to discuss the administration's tariffs on China and the escalating trade war.

updated 59M ago 06:50 0825-ftn-amyklobuchar-1919655-640x360.jpg

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here