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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Man Who Claimed To Have Ted Rollins' Cell Phone Wanted Hard Cash In Exchange For His "Treasure"

How did our storyline about an unknown caller and Ted Rollins' iPhone reach a conclusion? Let's just say the episode started in a strange fashion--and it ended that way.

The caller said he worked for a construction/renovation company, and Rollins' Campus Crest Communities is the firm's largest customer. Someone at Campus Crest caused the caller to be fired from his job, so when the man realized he was in possession of Ted Rollins' old cell phone . . . well, he did some searching on the Web, discovered my blog, and thought I might be interested in the phone.

While scrolling through information on the phone, the caller said he learned a lot about Campus Crest. He saw documents about a lawsuit in Alabama, apparently at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, about a girl whose apartment had been broken into--and her parents were alleging lax security and negligent supervision at the complex. (See video at the end of this post.)

The man gave me the impression that he felt the phone had journalistic value, because of Ted Rollins' status as CEO of a major Wall Street-supported company, and he wanted to send me the phone. I told him that I didn't see a problem with that, as long as the phone had, in fact, been given to him, and thus, was his property.

It turns out the man was interested in more than journalism--he wanted to turn a profit. In an e-mail, he offered to give me the phone in exchange for $750. I said, no thanks, and that was the end of it.

Who was the guy? I don't know. He used an e-mail account--thebelk@hushmail.com--that apparently was designed to hide his identity.

What were his real motivations? I don't know, but my No. 1 guess is that he was trying to pull some sort of scam on me, perhaps at the instigation of someone connected to Ted Rollins. I notified Ted Rollins via e-mail about the episode, on the off chance that the man was trying to pull a scam on him. I received no reply, so that makes me think I was the likely target.

As for alleged pornographic images on the phone, referenced in an earlier post, I doubt that they existed. And if they did, I'm not sure they qualified as child pornography, based on the description I was given. The caller seemed to think that Ted Rollins was at risk of criminal prosecution because of the images, but I find that unlikely.

Was wrongdoing involved in all of this? I think it's possible. To make false representations, in an effort to sell a cell phone that probably does not exist or is not in your possession, might qualify as attempted wire fraud under 18 U.S.C. 1343

I intend to research that issue further before deciding what, if anything, I should do about this.

Previously in the series:

How Did An iPhone Belong To CEO Ted Rollins Come To Play Central Role In Curious Con Game? (July 9, 2013)

A Glimpse at Information on Ted Rollins' Cell Phone Raises Questions About Alabama Divorce Case (July 11, 2013)

Man Who Claims To Have CEO Ted Rollins' iPhone Describes Scheme To Deceive Stockholders (July 18, 2013)


Anonymous said...

LS, Glad you steered clear of this guy.

Glenda said...

So it was all about the money? What a surprise.

Anonymous said...

He wants $750 for a heavily used iPhone, with kiddie porn on it? Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

Someone's got to know that guy's voice.

Anonymous said...

Any chance he conned Ted Rollins by selling the phone back to him?

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 10:13--

I wouldn't rule out anything.

Molli said...

What a nut job. The series of events with this phone was bazaar from the get go! Stay safe.

Anonymous said...

Come on!!! Ted knew this guy! Ted sent this guy your way! Do you really think a sleezebag like Ted Rollins would just throw his phone in a pile and say, "here have it"? Seriously doubtful! LS this just goes to show the level of trash you report on. They're definitely after you! Always check out thoroughly ANYONE who comes in contact with you! Anyone = Everyone!

Anonymous said...

I got out a kick out of the guy's comment about the awesome music collection on Ted Rollins' cell phone. Must confess I would like to hear what's on there.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 10:54--

Appreciate your comment. I debated on whether to write about the "iPhone incident." In a way, not sure there is much of a story there. But I decided the main value goes to one of your key points: It shows how far these people will go, and how low they will stoop, when someone is onto them. The audio alone, placing this guy's voice and statements on the record, I decided was worth the posts. Plus, as Molli notes in her comment, it has a certain bizarro/entertainment value to it.

Hope it provides some insight for readers.

Anonymous said...

"It shows how far these people will go, and how low they will stoop, when someone is onto them."

So you have a multi-part series on allegations from an anonymous source who has a phone whose provenance is unclear. You report those allegations as fact, not as allegations. And you ultimately conclude that the anonymous source is trying to frame you. What does that say about your journalistic ethics? You'll apparently "report" anything that reflects badly on someone you don't like, regardless of how dubious the source and how fanciful-sounding the content. You should invest in a grain of salt.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 1:42--

I would suggest you invest in a reading comprehension course. I state in all four parts of the series that I did not know if what the man was saying was fact. I never reported his statements as fact, and I even contacted Ted Rollins and offered to help him apprehend this guy if the man had wrongfully acquired his cell phone or was using it in an unlawful manner. I never heard back from Mr. Rollins. I reported exactly what the unknown man said, including audio/video, so it was not a matter of interpretation from me. I also cited relevant law that indicates the man's actions might constitute a federal crime, which makes this a legitimate news story. And I note that it's unclear who was the intended victim--it might have been me, it might have been Ted Rollins, maybe both. Ultimately, he tried to get $750 from me, so it's pretty clear I was an intended victim.

I go out of my way to state that I doubt the alleged pornographic images exist, or if they do, that they amount to child pornography. Finally, I note that the story might not be over, depending on any actions authorities might want to take. I doubt they will do anything, but the audiotapes are in the public realm now--and if this amounts to a crime, the evidence is there.

Bottom line: Have you ever considered actually reading material before commenting on it?

Anonymous said...

Set up and you'd be in jail 5 minutes AFTER you paid the guy. SET UP SET UP SET UP...