Many progressives probably have heard so much about "pro family" Republicans that they could almost hurl.
If you are such a progressive, you will really want to hurl when you read about one deep-pocketed Republican and his display of "family values" in an Alabama courtroom. We're talking about Ted W. Rollins, CEO of Campus Crest Communities and the driving force behind a recent Wall Street IPO that is estimated at $380 million.
Rollins is part of the family behind Orkin Pest Control, one of the wealthiest clans in America, with deep ties to the Republican Party. In Alabama court documents, however, Ted Rollins portrayed himself as a relative pauper, causing his ex wife and two daughters to live on the kind of support that might be expected from a janitor.
Sherry Carroll Rollins, his ex wife, and their daughters, Sarah and Emma, have almost been on welfare and food stamps. At one point, they would have been homeless if an Alabama friend had not intervened. But that doesn't seem to bother Ted Rollins. After all, he has a $380 million IPO. And that's from just one of several companies he has helped spearhead over the past 20 years or so.
Here is all you really need to know about Ted W. Rollins: He is head of a company that recently issued a $380 million IPO, and court documents indicate his family is worth billions (with a "b"). But thanks to the extremely curious actions of Alabama judge D. Al Crowson, Rollins pays $815 a month in child support (that's the total, covering both children) and $500 a month in alimony.
For good measure, Crowson found that Ted Rollins had overpaid Sherry Rollins by $8,795, and he was ordered to offset his alimony payment by $300 a month until the overpayment was paid in full. That means Sherry Rollins received $200 a month alimony for more than two years. And that's from an ex husband who, based on court documents, appears to be a millionaire several times over.
Thankfully, I have no personal experience with divorce or child-support issues. But I'm told that $815 and $500 a month are the kind of child support/alimony that might be ordered from a salary-earning schmuck like myself. That it was ordered for a member of the Rollins family, the folks behind Rollins Inc. and its numerous highly profitable enterprises, is dumbfounding.
No wonder Ted Rollins wanted to have the divorce case unlawfully moved from South Carolina to Alabama. As we reported yesterday, Sherry Rollins had sued for divorce in Greenville, South Carolina, where the family had lived, and adultery was one of the primary grounds she cited. A South Carolina judge had issued a temporary order that called for Ted Rollins to pay $3,355 a month in child support, $5,000 a month in alimony, and continue paying the mortgage, taxes, and insurance on the marital home.
When the mortgage went unpaid, Sherry Rollins and her children were forced from their home. Mrs. Rollins fled to Alabama, where her two sons from a previous marriage were living. Contrary to black-letter law, Ted Rollins was allowed to sue Sherry Rollins in Alabama and wound up with a reduction of roughly $2,500 in his monthly child support and $4,500 in his monthly alimony.
What a deal! No wonder this guy's rich.
How did he pull it off? Hold on to your breakfast because you are liable to lose it when you read what comes next.
Court records indicate that Ted Rollins' current child support/alimony payments are based on a Child Support Obligation Income Statement/Affidavit, known as a Form CS-41 in Alabama. (See Ted Rollins' CS-41 form at the end of this post.)
Ted Rollins listed his gross monthly income as $4,166.67, which comes to $50,000.04 a year. That's real close to what I made as an editor before I was cheated out of my job at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).
Interestingly, Ted Rollins claimed on his CS-41 that his only source of income was from Reynolds Mortgage and Investment Company of Brentwood, Tennessee. There's no mention of St. James Capital LLC, a family-owned business of which he had been president for several years. No mention of Campus Crest Communities, which he had started by then. No mention of any income from self employment, such as rent, proprietorship of a business, joint ownership of a partnership or closely held corporation. Ted Rollins swore under oath that he had no income other than $50,000 he made from a mortgage outfit in Tennessee.
While the divorce case was in South Carolina, court documents indicate that Ted Rollins claimed his income came from St. James Capital, making $4,166.66 per month. Isn't it interesting that the figure he cited in South Carolina matches almost to the penny the figure he cited in Alabama--but it's from a different company?
A South Carolina judge did not seem to be buying Ted Rollins' claims about his assets. Here is what the judge wrote in one order:
Defendant is a member of the Rollins family, one of the wealthiest families in America. While he asserts that his monthly income is only $4,166.66 per month, that level of income is not consistent with the standard of living enjoyed by this family during the marriage. Defendant has been historically involved in a number of family businesses. He may be one of the heirs to the family fortune, which is estimated in the billions of dollars. Convincing evidence was presented concerning Defendant's involvement in these businesses and of personal expenses regularly being paid for certain of the family businesses.
The writing apparently was on the proverbial wall in South Carolina. A judge had seen evidence that Ted W. Rollins was worth a whole lot of money, and it looked like a final divorce order would reflect that.
What's a rich guy to do? Well, he can cause his wife and children to get kicked out of their house and watch them flee to another state where they have relatives. Then he can unlawfully sue his wife in that state and get a final divorce order that allows him to pay cut-rate figures for child support and alimony.
Who helped Ted Rollins pull this off? We will be raising that question in future posts, looking closely at the Bradley Arant law firm in Birmingham, which has represented Mr. Rollins and Campus Crest Communities in a number of legal matters. Attorneys Dawn Helms Sharff and Walter Sears have been particularly involved with Ted Rollins.
Bradley Arant, of course, is known as one of the largest and most conservative law firms in Alabama.
Those conservatives and their "family values." You've gotta love 'em.
(To be continued)
Rollins CS-41 Form
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How can this be? I personally know the owners of Reynolds Mortgage in Brentwood and Mr. Rollins is not employed there nor has he ever been. I have overseen the payroll there. I know that he has never been employed there.
Ms. Rollins has one option and only one: Get the biggest, baddest, most seasoned bulldog of a lawyer she can buy. Preferably one that is an advocate for the female side of this and is from SC to keep the case there.
Generally, there are strict guidelines on residency and that should be the ultimate arbiter of which state has jurisdiction.
If she does that and chooses very wisely, she can considerably level the playing field. It may ruin her financially in the short run, but the long run is what she must fight for.
It's unfortunate that this is what it takes in these very nasty divorce cases, but it is what it is.
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