Woman charged with falsely claiming officer accessed her bank account from International Space Station
HOUSTON – A federal indictment has been unsealed against a 44-year-old woman for making false statements to federal authorities, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan Patrick.
A Houston federal grand jury returned the two-count indictment against Summer Worden, of Wichita, Kansas, Feb. 27. She is expected to make her initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dena H. Palermo April 13.
The charges allege Worden made false statements to NASA - Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
According to the indictment, Worden maintained multiple bank accounts at USAA Federal Savings Bank. She allegedly shared access to her online accounts with a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army on detail to NASA’s Johnson Space Center who had access until at least Jan. 31, 2019.
The indictment alleges Worden filed a complaint with the FTC, alleging the officer had improperly accessed her bank account. She 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, according to the charges. However, the indictment alleges she actually opened the account in April 2018 and did not change her login credentials until January 2019.
The indictment charges Worden with making false statements on two occasions. She allegedly filed the false complaint March 19, 2019, with the FTC and later made a false statement in an interview with NASA-OIG July 22, 2019.
If convicted, Worden faces up to five years in prison on each count and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
NASA-OIG and FTC conducted the investigation. Deputy Chief Ted Imperato and Assistant U.S. Attorney John Pearson are prosecuting the case.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.