Campus Crest Communities, a Charlotte-based developer of student housing, completed a $380-million Wall Street IPO in late 2010. So why do court documents show that CEO Ted Rollins is a deadbeat dad?
Rollins derives a handsome income from convincing college students and their parents to live in one of his 30 or so properties near campuses around the country. Rollins also appears to make a nice income from various investments and family enterprises.
But documents from Rollins' divorce case show that he stiffed his own children on support payments over a 33-month period from 2002 to 2005.
Rollins' teen-aged daughters, Sarah and Emma, now live in Birmingham with their mother, Sherry Carroll Rollins. Judges in the divorce action found that Ted Rollins owns multiple private jet craft and belongs to one of America's wealthiest families--the folks behind Rollins Inc., the parent company for Orkin Pest Control and other profitable businesses.
Why would a man of such means be a deadbeat dad? Why have support payments that were due more than six years ago still not been paid? We will put those questions, and others, to Ted Rollins in writing--although he has a tendency to not respond to our e-mails.
How big a deadbeat dad is Ted Rollins? To answer that question requires some background--and some math.
Sherry Carroll Rollins filed a complaint for divorce on June 5, 2001, in Greenville, South Carolina, where the family lived. The case was litigated in South Carolina for roughly three years and included a court order requiring Ted Rollins to maintain the mortgage and insurance payments on the former marital residence. A judge found that Sherry Rollins was entitled to "undisturbed use, possession, and occupancy" of the home "during the pendency of this action."
Were Sherry Rollins and the children undisturbed in their home? Not exactly. The mortgage was held by First National Bank of Oneida in Scott County, Tennessee. Former U.S. Sen. Howard Baker was a long-time board member of the bank and also was a close ally to John W. Rollins, the business magnate who was Ted Rollins' father. Court-ordered payments on the home apparently were not made, and officials from First National Bank kicked Ms. Rollins and her children out on the streets. They fled to Alabama, where Ms. Rollins had family.
Why was Shelby County such a friendly jurisdiction for Ted Rollins? Well, his primary business lawyers are at the influential Birmingham firm of Bradley Arant. It appears that someone made sure Sherry Rollins and her daughters were the victims of legal "home cooking," Alabama style.
Shelby County, of course, is the same locale where Mrs. Schnauzer and I were on the receiving end of numerous unlawful rulings in a bogus lawsuit filed against me by a criminally inclined neighbor named Mike McGarity. So I was not at all surprised to learn that another adult, Sherry Rollins, had received a monstrous cheat job in Shelby County. I was slightly surprised to learn that a judge in Shelby County, a conservative outpost that touts itself as a "great place to raise a family," would go out of his way to screw two children.
You might call Al Crowson the "Jerry Sandusky of the Alabama legal world." What would you call Ted Rollins, the man who sat by while his own kids got hammered in court? "Deadbeat dad" probably is not a strong enough term to describe this guy.
To fully grasp the depravity of Ted Rollins' actions, you need to follow me with some math through several steps:
* A second pendente lite order, issued on February 8, 2002, in South Carolina, required Ted Rollins to pay $4,500 a month during the pendency of the divorce case. A pendente lite is a temporary order, issued while discovery is pending, to make sure that parties in a divorce case have support while the case is heard.
* A contempt order, issued on October 17, 2002, in South Carolina, found that Ted Rollins was behind on his court-ordered payments by $70,410--$50,000 in attorney fees and $20,410 in family support. (See contempt order below.)
* After the case unlawfully was moved to Alabama, attorney G. John Durward Jr., wrote a letter to Judge Crowson that claimed his client, Ted Rollins, no longer owed support in South Carolina. Durward attached a South Carolina order stating that Ted Rollins had made a lump sum payment of $14,175 that left him with a support balance of zero. How could the balance be zero when Ted Rollins owed $70,410, and there is no record in the file of him paying that amount? John Durward's letter does not address that issue. (See Durward's letter below, with the accompanying court order.)
* A final judgment of divorce was issued in Shelby County on July 18, 2005.
How do the numbers stack up? When a contempt order was issued against Ted Rollins in October 2002, he was already behind on support by $70,410. From that date until the final judgment of divorce in July 2005 was 33 months--and throughout that time, Ted Rollins was under a court order to pay $4,500 in unallocated family support.
If you multiply $4,500 over 33 months, you find that Ted Rollins owed $148,500. When you add the $70,140 arrearage that apparently never was paid, you get a total of $218,910.
Sherry Rollins states that after she moved to Alabama, she received a payment from the state of South Carolina for $100,000. Why that figure? What was the explanation? She does not know.
As for the other $118,910, Sherry Rollins says that never has been paid--and there is no indication in court documents that it has been paid. Therefore, Ted Rollins is a deadbeat dad.
Rollins and one of his current attorneys, Chad Essick of the North Carolina firm Poyner Spruill, seem to acknowledge this in a recent letter to me. I had e-mailed Mr. Rollins several questions in writing, per his request, and part of the response from his lawyer was this:
You have suggested in your articles that Mr. Rollins does not adequately provide for his children and has missed child support payments. This is entirely false. Mr. Rollins has never failed to make a monthly payment as required by Alabama courts.
Note the clever wordplay from Mr. Essick. He states that Ted Rollins has never failed to make a monthly payment "as required by Alabama courts." He makes no reference to the South Carolina court order, and the payments that Mr. Rollins failed to make there.
In fact, Mr. Rollins still owes $118,910. And that amount almost certainly is conservative.
The South Carolina court had ordered Ted Rollins to maintain mortgage and insurance payments on the family home. Sherry Rollins states that the monthly mortgage payment was roughly $4,500. A judge had ordered Ted Rollins to make sure that Sherry Rollins and their daughters had undisturbed use of the home throughout the pendency of the case. The case went on for roughly another 33 months, and payments obviously were missed because Ms. Rollins was kicked out of the house and wound up having to provide for her own shelter.
How many payments for shelter and insurance did Ted Rollins miss? It's unclear, but since Sherry Rollins was forced to flee to Alabama in 2003, he almost certainly missed at least 24 months. That would add another $108,000 to his unpaid amount, bringing the total to $226,910.
We should note that the first pendente lite order in South Carolina called for Ted Rollins to pay $8,355 a month ($3,355 in child support, $5,000 in alimony). That was reduced to $4,500 a month in unallocated family support, based on a motion for reconsideration from Ted Rollins' attorney. But the court's order on reconsideration never makes it clear why the reduction was justified. The reduction seems odd, considering that a judge had found that Rollins has substantial business interests, multiple private planes, and significant family wealth.
Curiously, Sherry Rollins' lawyer never objected to the reduction in payments. Is that a sign that her own lawyer was working against her? Based on my experiences in court, and a review of the Rollins v. Rollins file, I would say the answer is yes.
If the original pendente lite order had stayed in place, Ted Rollins would have owed $8,355 over 33 months, which comes to $275,715. When the $70,410 is added for the South Carolina arrearage, plus our conservative estimate of $108,000 in missed housing-related payments, that would bring the total to $454,125.
With credit for his $100,000 payment, Mr. Rollins would owe $354,125.
The bottom line? Our figures, based on public documents and statements from Sherry Rollins, show that Ted Rollins owes somewhere between $200,000 and $350,000 in family support. That amount has gone unpaid for more than six years.
How big a deadbeat dad is Ted Rollins? You make the call.
Below is a court order from October 2002, showing that Ted Rollins was behind on his court-ordered support payments by $70,410. After that is a letter and court order, from May 2005, showing that Rollins had made a payment of $14,175 and that--somehow--gave him a balance of zero.
How do you owe $70,410, pay $14,175, and wind up with a fully paid balance? We have no idea.
Court records show that, from October 2002 to May 2005, Ted Rollins was under a court order to pay $4,500 in family support, plus mortgage and insurance payments on the former marital residence. That's roughly 31 months of payments, and there is nothing in the record to indicate that was paid. How do you skip more than 30 months of court-ordered payments and wind up with a fully paid balance? We have no idea on that one either.
The Rollins v. Rollins file is filled with such legal and financial skulduggery. We are left with this overarching question: Did Ted Rollins' financial clout, from being a card-carrying member in one of America's wealthiest family, help him buy some mighty friendly "justice" in Alabama?
Ted Rollins Contempt Order
Ted Rollins Durward Letter