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Author Ann Rule's sons accused of stealing more than $100K from her

NORMANDY PARK, Wash. - Two sons of bestselling true crime writer Ann Rule are accused of stealing more than $100,000 of their mother's money, reports CBS affiliate KIRO.

Charging documents indicate Michael Rule, 51, is accused of forging his 84-year-old mother's checks for a total of $103,628. His brother, Andrew Rule, 54, is accused of coercing or harassing his mother into giving him $23,327.

Investigators were reportedly tipped off to the alleged crimes last month after Rule's son-in-law emailed the King County Prosecutor's Office in Seattle. Ann Rule lives in Normandy Park, Wash.

Court documents obtained by The Huffington Post indicate that when some of Rule's accounts were overdrawn, one of her caregivers helped her download a bank app and through that, she was able to determine her checks were being forged.

The documents allege Michael and Andrew Rule were aggressive in demanding money from their mother. Ann Rule was granted a protection order against Andrew Rule in January and he was arrested for allegedly violating that order on March 27.

"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 write him a check," prosecutors say, according to KIRO.

When reached by KIRO, Andrew Rule denied the allegations, saying, "I have never in my life, as God as my witness, stolen anything whatsoever from my mom."

He went on to say that he had a gambling problem in the past but has no idea why he was "pulled in at the same time my brother was."

The station couldn't reach Michael Rule for comment.

Ann Rule is a true crime writer best known for her book titled "The Stranger Beside Me," about serial killer Ted Bundy, as well as her book, "Small Sacrifices," about Diane Downs, a woman convicted of shooting her three children, killing one.

Ann Rule declined to comment on the allegations against her sons. Court documents indicate the 84-year-old has been in declining health since October 2013 and "is on oxygen at all times," suffers from periods of "extreme confusion" and is "easily susceptible to financial exploitation."

"She is unable to perform many activities of daily living without assistance," the documents state.

Michael and Andrew Rule were released from jail on personal recognizance. Prosecutors have filed a restraining order requiring them to stay away from their mother. The are scheduled to be arraigned on April 30.

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