Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Why Would Wall Street CEO Ted Rollins Take Steps To Keep His Daughter's Trust Fund Under Wraps?

Sarah Rollins (right), with her
 sister, Emma, and father, Ted
Patriarchs in the wealthy Rollins family, from their primary bases in Georgia and Delaware, have a history of taking questionable actions with trust funds. In fact, that issue is about to become part of our coverage on the Rollins v. Rollins divorce case here in Alabama.

A recent appellate-court ruling in Atlanta means a Georgia jury soon might hear details about billionaires Gary and Randall Rollins and their curious management of family trust accounts. Here is how we summed up the issues in that case:

Randall and Gary Rollins are the heads of Atlanta-based Rollins Inc., the umbrella company for Orkin Pest Control, RPC Inc. (formerly Rollins Energy Services), and other entities. But they now stand accused of essentially raiding trust funds for their own benefit, and a Georgia court has found those claims should go to trial.

A similar case might someday unfold here in Alabama. Birmingham resident Sherry Rollins says she has seen evidence that her daughter, Sarah Rollins, has a trust fund that was established by her grandfather, John W. Rollins Sr.  But Sarah Rollins, who now is 19 years old, knows almost nothing about the fund. Laws in most states hold that an 18-year-old is considered an adult and is entitled to know about provisions of a trust fund.

But Ted Rollins--who is John Rollins' son, Sarah's father, and Sherry's ex husband--does not seem to be interested in following such laws. In fact, Sherry Rollins reports, he has taken extraordinary steps to keep his daughter's trust fund under wraps. (Note: Ted and Sherry Rollins have a second daughter, Emma, who now is 15 and lives with her mother in Birmingham. It is not clear if Emma has a trust fund. Emma was about 2 years old when John Rollins Sr. died in April 2000, and he had been seriously ill for most the time between her birth and his death. It is unknown if he was able to establish a trust fund in Emma Rollins' name.)

Why would Ted Rollins be secretive about his daughter's trust fund? As CEO of Campus Crest Communities, Rollins has seen his company receive more than $730 million in Wall Street investment funds. You might think that the chairman of a publicly traded company would be used to a certain amount of transparency regarding financial matters. But Ted Rollins seems to be anything but transparent when it comes to his daughter's trust fund.

Allegations in the pending Georgia lawsuit hint that Randall and Gary Rollins, Ted's cousins,  have used family trust funds for their own benefit, committing serious breaches of fiduciary duty. Is Ted Rollins, perhaps with the help of family accounting gurus, doing the same thing to Sarah Rollins?

We will examine that question in a series of upcoming posts. But first, let's look at information that points to the existence of a Sarah Rollins trust fund. It surfaced when Sherry and Ted Rollins still were married and living in Greenville, South Carolina. Here is how Sherry Rollins described her "Aha moment" in an e-mail to Legal Schnauzer:

When I lived in Greenville, S.C., I practiced Spanish so that I could converse with the Hispanic women who cleaned Ted's office, on the top floor of the First Union Building. He was just starting St. James Capital and had formed a partnership with Randall Rollins and his dad [John Rollins Sr.], where Ted would purchase various real estate around the country and develop it. He had just purchased the Crescent Center in Greenville, S.C., for St. James Capital. He later moved his offices to the Crescent Center. 
He was out of town that week; I left the girls with the maid, and went in the early evening to his office. I walked past the guard, and he told me to sign in. I signed in. I went to the top floor to Ted's office. I spoke to the maids and told them that I had to do some work on the computer and that I was Ted's wife. 
I went to his secretary's desk. I sat down and found a yellow legal pad with a list of all his files written in it. 
One thing on the page caught my eye: Sarah's Trust Fund; it listed where it could be found on the computer.

That wasn't the only intriguing information Sherry Rollins uncovered on that trip to her husband's office. And on a subsequent trip, a scene right out of a John Grisham movie unfolded before her eyes.

(To be continued)

Previously in the series:

New Court Ruling Might Force Wealthy Rollins Clan To Allow Light Into Some Dark Financial Corners (April, 23, 2013)


Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like the men at the top of the Rollins food chain create trust funds for the tax advantages they provide. They don't really care if the children get to use the funds for anything.

Barb said...

LS, whenever I read one of your posts about Ted Rollins, the word that keeps popping into my head is "user." Mr. Rollins might be one of the most abusive "users" I've ever read about.

TLR said...

LS, please keep us updated on that Rollins case in Georgia. Will be very interesting to see how that turns out.

legalschnauzer said...

Will do, TLR. My bet is that it ends in a settlement. Don't think there's any way Randall and Gary Rollins want this, with likely evidence that they've been stealing from young family members, to go to a jury.

Anonymous said...

Money Laundering.

USA unfortunately became the war mongering money launderers, top to the bottom and wherever the ruthless empire builders can.

TRUST FUNDS for 'children' ?! Very few ever see this reality.

Pregnant pause, baited breath and can hardly wait for the chapters to continue!

Anonymous said...

I used to think a trust fund would be the answer to all of life's problems. Maybe not.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 9:42--

It hadn't occurred to me until reading your comment, but when you read up on the Rollins case in Georgia, this really does sound like money laundering. No wonder they want to keep it secret.

Anonymous said...


"Controller" is the word that comes to my mind. But "user" fits, too.

Anonymous said...

I think I know the answer to the question in your headline: Ted Rollins already has used the money for himself.

Anonymous said...

Many families who can afford to start a trust fund do it primarily for the child's college education. If Sarah Rollins is 19 years old, that money should be put to use, in part, for her college education. Is that not happening?

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 10:22--

I'm told Sarah Rollins currently is not enrolled in college. She spent the fall semester at University of the South in Sewanee, and my understanding is that she did well. But for reasons that are not clear to me, she withdrew and now lives at The Grove location in Asheville, NC, which is the first one her father started. I'm told that Sarah is not enrolled at UNC-Asheville, even though she is a fine student and wants a college education. If you do well at Sewanee, you should be able to do well at a lot of places--but Sarah's father seems to have other plans for her, although Sarah and her mother don't seem to know what those are.

Anonymous said...

I would call this "generational theft."

Anonymous said...

Maybe Mr. Rollins doesn't want his daughter to waste her trust money on frivolous things.

Anonymous said...

I agree with @9:42. This sounds like money laundering, tax evasion, something criminal. I believe Sherry Rollins and her daughter should report it to the DOJ, the IRS, or both.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 10:57--

Since Sarah Rollins turned 18--she's now 19--that decision is hers, not Ted Rollins'. A lot depends on how the trust was set up, what provisions it includes, but under the law in most states, Ms. Rollins is entitled to know what is going on with her trust and have some control over it--at the very least.

Raymond said...

Not sure of the legal term for what's happening here, but I would call it "double dipping." The Rollins family sets up these trust accounts for the tax advantages, but then the big dogs use the money while the kids are kept in the dark. The big dogs are tax cheats, pure and simple.

Anonymous said...

It wouldn't be in Ted the perv's best interest to have educated children! Educated children are a danger to Ted and a threat to his fake image.

Unknown said...

Perp Walk Teddy

jeffrey spruill said...

I googled "trust fund laws Delaware" & pulled this up:

Among the many attractive features of Delaware’s trust laws is the statute that requires the wishes of the grantor be respected and followed.

Well folks-it seems that a certified sexual psychopath can do what he damn well pleases.(like moving the jurisdiction of his divorce case)

e.a.f. said...

It might be in the best interest of the daughter to request the documents regarding the trust. The grandfather may have left the trust under her father's control or someone else. It might have a clause which does not enable her to use the money until she achieves a specific age or education level.

Whatever this is all about, it is something which works for the men of the family. It enables them to control their children. Who knows what the trusts are used for. If it is a matter which they wish to hve remain hidden, it might well be it isn't all that moral, ethical or legal.

Enjoyed the column. This is a good example of focusing attention on one local person. This can be accomplished and sends a message to others. Like they say in avalanche country, one snowball can start an avalanche.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for getting back to this topic-a lot of pieces are falling into alignment! Please continue to excavate and thanks for your great work!

Unknown said...

e.a.f. ~ you've been MIA clearly.

LS has focused on the most corrupt of the Alabama "tribes" and Rollins has been the HUMAN FILTH MUD PERSON extraordinaire.

You've obviously missed the point about the son and pedophilia.

~ Go back and read all the posts about Mr. Rollins and then because you are quite the writer, avalanche some words, lots and lots and lots about Mr. Rollins to the appropriate snowball tribes. Then his acts of vile evil to his former wife, Sherry, and -Sherry's and Ted's 'daughters' that are held in hostage, can be reported by more than just LS. You can restore some dignity in the local community e.a.f., too, just as Legal Schnauzer does every day and has for years.

Write a snowball poison pen letter e.a.f., that ends up in hell and maybe the burning can be snuffed with your avalanche of quite the proper English, grammar, punctuation etc.

AND YOU MAY GET THE POINT, after a fashion.

Unknown said...


your CIA [capitalism's invisible army] transparency isn't opaque btw