Ruthann Aron: A Deadly Campaign
Ruthann Aron's legal problems began in 1984, when two businessmen sued her company, Research Inc., for fraud and breach of contract. According to the men, the three went in on a project together to develop a Rockville shopping center, a business venture in which they claimed to have invested a great deal of money. Babington reported that Ruthann "sold the right to buy the shopping center for $200,000 and had kept the money herself rather than share it with them." Ruthann insisted she did nothing wrong and the men who claimed to finance the project were actually never partners in the deal.
To her dismay, a Montgomery County civil jury returned a verdict of fraud and breach of contract, ordering Ruthann to pay close to $175,000 to the businessmen. Upon payment, Baltimore lawyer Arthur G. Kahn who represented the men "agreed to have the judge vacate the jury's verdict, meaning the lawsuit's final record would not reflect the judgment" against Ruthann, Babington stated in his article. Regardless, the judgment would later come back to haunt Ruthann and Kahn would become her nemesis.
In the meantime, other legal battles were brewing, including one that occurred that same year, involving a dispute over money between Ruthann and her partners concerning a development project. Like the previous lawsuit, Ruthann was accused of profiting from the sale of property but failing to split the money with one of her partners. Once again, she lost the lawsuit and paid out $175,000 in damages.
A third lawsuit was launched by Ruthann, who claimed that another partner with whom she previously worked duped her out of assets that she alleged belonged to her. The case went to trial and Ruthann lost again. The judge ordered her to pay her opponent's court costs but according to Babington, she contested the ruling and eventually didn't have to pay anything. It was a small victory, which would later be overshadowed by less successful courtroom battles.