The CEO of a student-housing development company has an ex wife and two daughters who are on food stamps in Alabama.
Ted Rollins, the head of Charlotte-based Campus Crest Communities, helped his company complete a $380-million IPO late last year. And a South Carolina divorce-court judge found that Rollins belongs to one of the nation's wealthiest families and has the use of multiple private aircraft. But Rollins managed to get the divorce case unlawfully moved to Alabama, and the resulting judgment means that his ex wife and two daughters qualify for food stamps.
Sherry Carroll Rollins said she and the girls now are on food stamps--and have been for some time. That's because Alabama Circuit Judge D. Al Crowson ordered Ted Rollins to pay only $500 in alimony and $815 in child support--a monthly total of $1,315. Our research indicates that is a shockingly low level of support for a man of Rollins' means, a CEO whose family owns Orkin Pest Control and other highly profitable enterprises.
As a comparison, we recently reported that football star Terrell Owens pays $5,000 a month in support of one child. In other words, Ted Rollins pays less than one-fifth what Terrell Owens pays--for twice as many children. Owens is a rich fellow, by most standards, but it's doubtful his net worth even approaches that of Ted Rollins.
Did Ted Rollins get a sweet deal in Alabama? You be the judge. Is this a sensitive topic for the CEO? Well, he threatened to sue me last week because of my reporting on Rollins v. Rollins.
How did Ted Rollins, who regularly flies around the country on private jets, manage to get a support judgment that might be expected for a janitor, a school teacher, or a journalist? We are continuing to investigate that question. But one answer appears to rest with a CS-41 form, an Alabama child-support document that is signed under penalty of perjury. (See the front and back of the Alabama CS-41 form below, followed by Ted Rollins' CS-41.)
Ted Rollins stated under oath that his income was $4,166.67 a month, from employment at Reynolds Mortgage and Investment Co. of Brentwood, Tennessee. That comes to $50,000.04 per year--and Rollins listed that as his only income.
The CS-41 is dated April 27, 2005, and published reports show that Campus Crest Communities already had started at that point, with Rollins as CEO. The South Carolina court found that Rollins was president of St. James Capital LLC, an investment firm he founded with his cousin--R. Randall Rollins, chairman of Rollins Inc. in Atlanta. The South Carolina judge found that the Rollins family is "extremely wealthy."
When Rollins v. Rollins was moved to Alabama, Ted Rollins suddenly no longer was involved with St. James Capital. You read that correctly: When his divorce case commenced in South Carolina, where jurisdiction clearly rested, Ted Rollins was president of St. James Capital. When the case unlawfully shifted to Alabama, he suddenly had no ties to St. James Capital. How intriguing! How convenient!
What happened to Ted Rollins' interest in that company, plus his interest in Campus Crest and other ventures? They seemingly vanished when Rollins v. Rollins took center stage in Shelby County, Alabama.
And that's not all. Ted Rollins was a major player behind the Crescent Center, a development in Greenville, South Carolina, that offers 750,000 square feet of manufacturing, distribution, and office space. Rollins derived no income from that sizable project?
Based on his CS-41 form, Ted Rollins appears to be a regular working stiff, a guy making a relatively paltry sum of 50 grand a year. But the CS-41 goes beyond "salary," requiring a declaration regarding many forms of income--the kind that wealthy people, such as Ted Rollins, often have. The instructions are found on the back side of the CS-41, under the title "Examples Of Income That Must Be Declared In Your Gross Monthly Income." It's pretty hard to miss. Here is what must be declared:
EXAMPLES OF INCOME THAT MUST BE INCLUDED IN YOUR GROSS MONTHLY INCOME
1. Employment Income--shall include, but not be limited to, salary, wages, bonuses, commissions, severance pay, worker’s compensation, pension income, unemployment insurance, disability insurance, and Social Security benefits.
2. Self–Employment Income--shall include, but not be limited to, income from self-employment, rent, royalties, proprietorship of a business, or joint ownership of a partnership or closely held corporation. “Gross income” means gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce this income.
3. Other Employment-Related Income--shall include, but not be limited to, the average monthly value of any expense reimbursements or in-kind payments received in the course of employment that are significant and reduce personal living expenses, such as a furnished automobile, a clothing allowance, and a housing allowance.
4. Other Non-Employment Related Income--shall include, but not be limited to, dividends, interest, annuities, capital gains, gifts, prizes, and pre-existing periodic alimony.
Ted Rollins is from an "extremely wealthy" family, but he had none of these sources of income, only $50,000 from a mortgage company in Tennessee? Does this "strain credulity"?
The bottom line is this: Public documents show that someone administered a colossal cheat job to Sherry Carroll Rollins and her daughters. Because of that, the Rollins household in Alabama now qualifies for government assistance, funded by taxpayers.
The story of corruption connected to Rollins v. Rollins goes beyond one family, two states, two courtrooms and a series of judges. Someone wanted to make sure that Ted Rollins did not have to pay a reasonable sum for the support of his ex wife and children. Someone wanted to make sure that Sherry Carroll Rollins did not receive a share of the "marital assets," to which she was entitled under the law.
As a result, taxpayers are making up a tiny portion of the difference, in the form of food stamps. This helps ensure that Sherry Rollins and her daughters can make it through the month with something to eat. Does this situation trouble Ted Rollins? We've sent him questions in writing, but he has not responded--other than to threaten me with a lawsuit.
Moral of the story? Corruption in Shelby County, Alabama, is not just my problem or Sherry Rollins' problem. It's everyone's problem.
Alabama CS-41 Form (Front and Back)
Rollins CS-41 Form