Monday, April 15, 2013

Mary Carol Harrington - Military Marriage Racket - 1947

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): May Carol Harrington is a California-bred red-head with a fondness for getting married.

She has had four husbands in her 26 years, but she has had only one divorce and one annulment. Today she got four months in jail from Federal Judge Nelson McVicar.

~ Married at Time ~

In all cases, she was married to other husbands while receiving her checks, witnesses said.

Mary Carol, now a waitress in a Bloomfield restaurant, first married Eugene F. Sylvies in February, 1941, in Los Angeles. In November 1944 she wed Francis J. Kurzak in Santa Ana, Cal.

A year ago she became Mrs. Robert J. Harrington in a ceremony in Fairfield, Cal. Harrington is a Pittsburgher.

~ Weds a Sailor ~

In July, she divorced  No. 1. The next month, feeling lonesome with only two husbands, she added Bennie Estrada, a sailor. He and Uncle Sam sent her four checks for $80, including support for a nine-year-old son, the testimony showed.

The latest marriage was annulled after the marrying Mary’s arrest.

FBI agents said Mary has 13 aliases.

[“’Marrying Mary’ Gets Four Months – Fraud Charged In Allotment Checks,” The Pittsburgh Press (Pa.), May 28, 1947, p. 16]


FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 2): A 26-year-old waitress who believed she could make marriage a career was handed a four-month jail sentence by Federal Judge Nelson McVicar yesterday.

Mary Carl Harrington’s marriages apparently were a little scrambled and the Federal Bureau of Investigation suggested that Mary’s career consisted partly of receiving dependency allotment checks to which she was not entitled.

The FBI investigation indicated that Mary, of Allegheny avenue, was married to Eugene F. Sylvies in Los Angeles, to Francis J. Kurzak in Santa Ana, Cal., and to Robert J. Harrington in Fairfield, Cal., before she married Bennie Estrada, a sailor, and the only divorce reported by the FBI was Sylvies. She agreed to an annulment of her marriage to Estrada.

She was said to have received checks from Kurzak, who was in the Coast Guard, as well as from Estrada.

[“Marriage As Career Discouraged,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pa.), May 29, 1947, section 2, p. 1]


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


1 comment:

  1. Hello, just ran across your site and information about Marrying Mary. I believe this is my Aunt Mary! I "found" her while researching my family lines in 2004. Her birth name is: Mary Caroline DePonty. She is sister to my birth mother, Betty June DePonty and they had another sister named Ruby June DePonty. Their parents are: Johannes Pasquel (John Patrick) DePonty and Lillian Frances Jackson. Their parents divorced and the three little girls were given out for adoption. They were adopted by three different families. During my research, I was told, Mary was known to some close friends as Aunt Rusty, because she had reddish hair. When I spoke with her for the first time over the phone in 2004, she told me about being married to Sylvies and Harrington. So, when I saw your post, I was flabbergasted to find out she was considered one of the Alimony Annies. Mary died in 2006 in Pittsburgh.