Long distance crime?

Fox News:
A NASA astronaut has been accused of committing the first crime in outer space after her estranged wife alleged she stole her identity and accessed her bank account without permission during a six-month mission aboard the International Space Station.

Former Air Force intelligence officer Summer Worden, from Kansas, has been involved in a bitter divorce with astronaut Anne McClain since 2018 but the battle heated up after Worden filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and NASA’s Office of Inspector General accusing her wife of assuming her identity and gaining improper access to her private financial records while orbiting the earth, the New York Times reported.

Worden told the Times that she was tipped off when McClain somehow had knowledge about her private spending while on a mission with no way to know otherwise.

She contacted her bank and was informed that her sign-in credentials had been used on a computer registered to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

“I was pretty appalled that she would go that far. I knew it was not O.K.,” Worden said.

McClain has denied these allegations, telling the inspector general’s office in an interview last week that she was acting in routine by checking the family’s finances to make sure they had sufficient funds to pay bills for their son.
If this evolves into a fight over jurisdiction for the alleged crime it could become interesting.  If for example, the bank account was in a bank in Texas, Texas would have jurisdiction over it in a state court.  The feds might have jurisdiction also if it was in a federally regulated bank.

When I was a young lawyer I brought a case for the state of Texas against a man who was accused of selling securities illegally from another state to a Texas resident.  It turned out to be a case of first impression for the Court of Criminal Appeals.  The court supported the conviction in a case called Shappley v. State.  I went on to use the precedent to convict people accused of defrauding returning POWs from Vietnam out of their back pay.  The case was also used to stop people from illegally selling securities from Texas to people in other states.

I think the case would also apply to actions taken from outer space.


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