SEATTLE (CN) – The sons of true-crime writer Anne Rule have been charged with allegedly stealing thousands of dollars from their 83-year-old mother.
Rule has written more than twenty crime books, including “The Stranger Beside Me,” about serial killer Ted Bundy.
According to documents filed in the King County, Wash. Superior Court, Michael and Andrew Rule separately stole money from the elderly author’s accounts, despite being paid generous monthly salaries by her.
Ann Rule has four children and pays a combined $25,000 a month to them for help with her business and personal care, the court documents say.
Rule obtained a protection order against Andrew in February, alleging years of abuse and financial exploitation.
Rule is in deteriorating health and has been confined to a wheelchair since falling and breaking her hip in 2013, the court documents say.
“By every witness’s account, Andy would pester and bully Ann relentlessly for money, sometimes threatening suicide, sometimes trying to make her feel guilty, sometimes screaming obscenities at her, until she would finally give in and would write him a check,” Special Agent Todd Sadler of the Social Security Administration’s Inspector General’s Office wrote.
Andrew “immediately began violating that order, continuing to demand money,” and was arrested, the court documents say.
“Andy Rule admitted that he has battled with drug and gambling addictions for years, and that he used the money provided him by his mother on gambling and strip clubs,” Sadler wrote.
Andrew Rule is charged with first-degree theft.
Michael Rule took control over his mother’s checkbooks and credit cards in September, 2014, claiming he was protecting her from Andrew, according to prosecutors. He began engaging in “similar tactics of intimidation and coercion to pressure his mother to provide him funds above his monthly salary,” the court documents say.
Prosecutors say Michael Rule claimed he needed extra money for his mortgage and other expenses and would “yell at his mother demanding money as she cowered in her wheelchair.”
Prosecutors claim at least one caregiver for Ann Rule quit due to Michael Rule’s violent behavior.
Michael Rule began forging his mother’s signature on checks and caused her accounts to become overdrawn in early 2015, court documents claim.
Michael Rule is charged with first-degree theft and forgery.
Both men are not currently jailed but have been ordered to appear in court and have no contact with Ann Rule.
Michael Rule and Andrew Rule could not be contacted for comment. Ann Rule has not returned a request for comment. The King County Prosecutor’s Office has also not returned a request for comment at press time.
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