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Monday, November 19, 2012

Wealthy Family Behind Orkin And Dover Downs Abuses Those Who Enter Without A Prenup

Dover Downs Hotel and Casino

Why did members of a mega-wealthy American family resort to criminal tactics in an effort to gain the upper hand in an Alabama divorce case? The answer appears to be simple: Birmingham resident Sherry Carroll Rollins dared marry into the family behind Orkin Pest Control, Dover Downs Gaming and Entertainment--and numerous other highly profitable enterprises--without signing a prenuptial agreement.

That meant the inheritance and various business interests of her husband, Ted Rollins, were vulnerable in the event of a divorce. That, Ms. Rollins said, made her the subject of intense scrutiny and suspicion during the roughly 10 years she was a Rollins spouse. And when she finally decided to seek a divorce, after her husband allegedly had engaged in multiple extramarital affairs, the power of a "1 Percent" family came down upon her.

The result was Rollins v. Rollins, a divorce case that spread over two states and has come to be known here at Legal Schnauzer as the worst courtroom cheat job I've encountered in the civil arena.

Was Sherry Carroll adamantly opposed, in general, to the idea of a prenuptial agreement? It does not appear that she was. But the Rollins family presented her with a proposed agreement under such bizarre circumstances, with such one-sided conditions, that she threw it in Ted Rollins' face and said the wedding was off.

How did Ted Rollins react? He tore up the agreement and said he wanted to get married anyway. Sherry Rollins later would say that, to her knowledge, she was the only woman to marry into Rollins wealth without a prenup.

What kind of money did that leave potentially exposed in the event of a divorce? How did that cause Sherry Rollins to be treated during the course of her marriage? She provides insight by pointing to Dover Downs, the Delaware-based hotel, casino, and racing complex that is one of the Rollins family's prime properties. From an e-mail that Sherry Rollins sent to Legal Schnauzer:

I remember when [Dover Downs] went public in 1993 or so. Ted's brother, Jeff, who was 24 years old, made $68 million on the IPO. Ted made somewhere near that, but Mr. Rollins (John Rollins Sr., Ted's father) held onto Ted's money as they did not trust his marriage with me, with no prenup in place. I was the only Rollins woman without a prenup. That made them all very nervous from the beginning and influenced how I was treated. 
They kept private detectives on our house, and especially me. In these families where money is the only respected thing, the new person walking in without their approval, and without the prenup, is a huge threat to their income flow.

How did the Rollins family present a prenup to the interloper, Sherry Carroll? What were some of its provisions? We will examine those issues in an upcoming post.


(To be continued)

13 comments:

Sharon said...

The key word here--"inheritance." If Ted Rollins' inheritance money was vulnerable, I bet he and the family would do anything to protect it.

Anonymous said...

I bet you nailed it, Sharon.

Spasmoda said...

The Rollins family is in the gambling business? I didn't know that.

legalschnauzer said...

It's not just pest control, Spas. They are in the resort business big time in Jamaica. Also think they are in the oil business somehow, I think with equipment that is used to extract oil/natural gas. Not sure about the details on that. One of their first businesses was broadcasting, I think with radio stations and maybe cable TV. They are in a bunch of stuff.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know about the gambling stuff either. Schnauzer, I depend on you to keep me informed about this.

Anonymous said...

I've been to Dover Downs. It's big time. Snazzy.

Anonymous said...

The are big time in Rollins Energy Services-over the years they bought out Bobby Joe Cudd (Oklahoma), Chuck Patterson (Louisiana)and several others.Also own several huge ranches in Florida, Georgia, and Texas. Chapparal Boats, lots of stuff! A little research on the internet will bring a lot of it into line and provide a clear perspective of what is at risk. Sounds like Sherry Rollins should have signed-she would probably have something at least! Also-please start specifiying which Rollins folks are referring to-there are lots of em' !! Ruth, Ellen, Nancy, Peggy, Danielle, Eleanor, and on and on!

Anonymous said...

Actually Orkin is probably only a small piece of the total enterprise. It just has a higher visibility.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 12:01--

Excellent points. Thanks for your insights. And glad you raise the issues of land ownership and ranches. They own massive amounts of land in north Georgia and in Florida. I believe Sherry Rollins said the Rollins family is the second biggest land owners in the South after Ted Rutnrer. In fact, I think there is a controversy right now about a highway that is supposed to cut through their land, and they are fighting it big time. It's probably hard to build a road in north Georgia that doesn't go through Rollins land.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 12:01--

When you read about the circumstances under which Sherry Rollins was presented with a prenup, I think you will understand why she didn't sign. The big question: Why did Ted Rollins go through with the marriage anyway?

Also, you are correct that there are a whole lot of Rollinses out there. My reporting has focused mainly on two branches: (1) The John/Michele Rollins branch, which includes Ted (plus Dover Downs, Rollins Jamaica, etc.); (2) The Wayne Rollins branch, which includes Randall, Gary (plus Glen/Danielle) and all of the Orkins stuff. Sounds like the two overlap quite a bit, particularly when Ted and Randall collaborated on St. James Capital, which apparently morphed into Campus Crest Communities.

Anonymous said...

The Georgia Department of Transportation has been trying to build a better way to connect Rome, Ga. to Interstate 75 at Cartersville, Ga. and they have been blocked with that effort since 1991 as the route GDOT wants to take goes through Gary Rollins farm north of Cartersville off route 411. There was another article about it in the Atlanta Journal Constitution about 4 weeks ago that provides some level of detail. Check it out!

Anonymous said...

So stupid! Mrs. Rollins just wants something for nothing. Just can't get on with her life! Who really cares???? Who??? Nobody!

legalschnauzer said...

Apparently you care. You're still reading about it.