Depending on who you believe, the sordid story of Anne Flaherty Simon is either the tragic tale of a lovelorn ex-hooker seeking redemption in the arms of a millionaire or a revolting case of a gold digger preying on a dying alcoholic.

So far, the courts have leaned toward the latter scenario.

Flaherty Simon - dubbed the Osterville Madam for running a pricey prostitution ring on Cape Cod - stands accused of bilking her wealthy husband of one year, Kenneth Simon, as he lies in a nursing home dying of liver disease from a life of boozing.

``She knew he was an alcoholic, saw he was in decline and this was her 401(k),'' said Jerry Nissenbaum, an attorney for Simon's three kids who are trying to wrest their father's estimated $9 million fortune from his shadowy new bride. ``The kids just don't want their father to be swindled in the late stages of his life. It's a classic scam of an elderly person.''

The couple met 14 years ago at a karaoke night Flaherty Simon ran on the Cape. Simon, 71, was married, but the mutual fund manager became smitten with the blond beauty when his wife left him for a carpenter.