In 2010, the four grandchildren — Glen Rollins, Ellen Rollins, Nancy Rollins and O. Wayne Rollins II — sued their father, Gary Rollins, who is Rollins’ CEO, and their uncle, Randall Rollins, the company’s chairman.
The Rollins siblings contended Gary and Randall Rollins abused their control over the four trusts set up in their names by their grandfather, which are worth an estimated $1.5 billion.
In doing so, Gary and Randall Rollins set up a phony distribution scheme, locked up the assets and unilaterally changed the rules as to how the funds were to be passed down, Mickey Mixson, lead attorney for the four siblings, told jurors in an opening statement on Nov. 5.
The father and uncle also enforced a code of conduct governing the siblings’ behavior, he said.
“It not only told them what they had to do to get money, it told them how to raise their children,” Mixson said. “It authorized Gary and Randall to spy on them with detectives.”
Why did they do this? Mixson asked. “Gary and Randall wanted to control it forever. And they tried to undo what O. Wayne Rollins had done.”
Gary Rollins, vice chairman and CEO of Rollins Inc. (Rollins photo)
In 2010, Gary and Randall Rollins approached the four siblings and asked them to sign away their trust assets, Mixson said. When they refused to explain why, the siblings became suspicious and demanded information, the lawyer said.
That led to the filing of the lawsuit, and since then the siblings have received no income from the trusts, Mixson said.
In response, attorney Jim Lamberth, who represents Gary and Randall Rollins, told jurors his clients did nothing wrong.
Randall Rollins, chairman of the board for Rollins Inc. (Rollins photo)
“Whenever Gary and Randall made the decisions their father trusted them to make, they thought about their father,” Lamberth said. “They thought about what he would want them to do.”
O. Wayne Rollins began talking to his two sons about the distribution of his fortune in the 1970s. He told them he wanted his grandchildren to lead meaningful and productive lives and not squander the family fortune, Lamberth said.
“Mr. Rollins was afraid of the destructive effect that unearthed wealth, inherited wealth can have on people,” the lawyer said.
He noted that Glen Rollins, the former CEO of Orkin, was a profligate spender. He paid $13 million for a Buckhead estate called Boxwood and, in 2008, he and his then-wife Danielle charged more than $8 million on their American Express cards, Lamberth noted. The couple's marriage ended in a bitter divorce after Glen Rollins admitted to sleeping with dozens of prostitutes and also accused his ex-wife of removing items from Boxwood that weren't hers.
Glen Rollins, the former CEO of Orkin Exterminating Co., in an image dated May 18, 2011, that was downloaded from Rollins’ Facebook page.
Since turning 21, the four siblings have received millions of dollars from the family fortune, including more than $34 million when they decided to participate in the program set up by their father and their uncle, Lamberth said.
But that wasn’t enough, he said. “They decided it was better to break up the family and sue Gary and Randall to try and get huge amounts of cash from their interest in the Rollins family entities, something that was never supposed to happen under their grandfather’s plan.”
In his opening, Mixson told jurors that he would be asking them to award $268 million in damages to the four siblings at the end of the trial. But that never happened because of the settlement, which has been placed under seal.