Monday, April 15, 2013

Vilma Suberly & Her Military Marriage Racket - 1945

NOTE: The term “Alimony Annie” was used during World War II and afterwards to describe the women who practiced this particular scam.


FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 2): Eugene, Ore., Feb. 14 – With a terse “take care of yourself” and several good bye kisses, Vilma Suberly bade farewell to her mother and stepbrother yesterday and left for Portland where she will face charges – which she termed “fictitious” – of obtaining more than $4,600 in service allotment checks from six husbands.

Peering from the confines of the Lane County jail, she threatened to “scratch out the eyes of any photographers, because I want to protect mama, and want to come back to this town after it’s all over.”

She denied charges by H. C. van Pelt, assistant special agent in in charge of the San Francisco FBI office, that she had been married to eight – possibly nine – men, and termed all statements in a newspaper clipping “lies, lies, lies.”


FBI officers said after her arrest here Saturday she had “bragged about her racket of marrying servicemen, receiving their allotment checks and cashing them in.”

“Sure, I got checks from the fist man I married, she said. “He was in the service but we didn’t get along very well. They sent me checks three times, and each time I sent them back. Finally I got tired of mailing them back so I tore them up and threw them away.

“I’m glad I’m here and I wish they’d let me stay here another week. I got mama out of California in time, though. I hate everything in that state and I’m not going back there again.”

Throwing back her reddish-blonde hair, she gleefully described how she “gave them the slip” in Stockton.”


“I had a house there and they thought they could take their time. But I found out they were coming three hours beforehand, and mama and I sold the house quick and then spent $500 riding buses and trains all over the state to give them the slip.

“I’m not scared of them, though. I’ve only been married to two men, one was the man in the Navy and the other was a civilian I married after the sailor and I had a fight. I got pretty drunk, I guess, and married the other man. When we sobered up, I gave it to him straight … he kept coming around for handouts and finally suffocated in this room one night three years ago.

“And I paid for his funeral.

“There rest of them (the men) are all lies.”


Operating as a blonde, red head and brunette, and under at least 28 aliases, Mrs. Suberly was reported to have married five enlisted navy men, an army private and two civilians. Suberly is the name of her third husband.

“We still are investigating a possible ninth husband,” Federal Bureau of Investigations said.

She was said to have admitted receiving $4,600 in allotments and cash from her six Navy husbands during 1942 and to have supplemented this by a $300-a-week income during six months as a prostitute.

The FBI record showed she married the following men:

Pvt. Herman Goodman, Galveston, Tex., 1938; Edwin March, Beaumont, Tex., 1939; Roy Herbert Suberly, electrician’s mate, 1-c, USN, Yuma, Ariz., 1940; Theodore Clarence Siner, Baker, 3-c, USN, time and place unknown; Walter Louis Isakan, Nevada City, Calif., 1941; William Robert Cavender, carpenter’s mate, 3-c, USN, Fairfield, Calif., 1941; Harold Eugene Wininger, ship’s cook, 1-c, USN, Gardnerville, Nev., 1942; Lawrence Gus Smith, chief magistrate’s mate, Reno, Nev., 1942.

[“Eight Men Are Seven Too Many … Woman Will Face Charges – Allotment Checks Received From Six Husbands,” syndicated (UP), Berkeley Daily Gazette (Ca.), Feb. 14, 1945, p. 10]


FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 2): Sacramento, Cal. May 10 – Mrs. Vilma Suberly, 26-year-old blonde, undivorced wife of eight servicemen, today was under sentence to two years in a federal penitentiary after Federal Judge Martin I. Welsh ruled she was not entitled to probation after her guilty plea of using the mails to defraud.

Mrs. Suberly pleaded guilty to charges of collecting allotment checks from four husbands in the armed services. Following her arrest in Eugene, Ore., she had denied making fraudulent collections. She asked for probation to permit her to return  to Oregon and care for her mother.

Welsh said he was denying the request on the basis of her record.

[“Wife of 8 Men Given Sentence,” syndicated (UP), The Bend Bulletin (Or.), May 10, 1945, p. 5; syndicated photo from another source]


For more cases of this type see: “War-Marriage Vampires”& “Allotment Annies"


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