January 24, 2019

NJ doctor charged with having wife killed to protect drug ring

12 January 2018, 08:49 | Devin Moran

James Kauffman charged in murder of wife, veterans advocate April Kauffman

Shore doctor James Kauffman charged in 2012 murder of his wife April Kauffman

The new charges come more than five years after Dr. Kauffman's wife, April Kauffman, a New Jersey radio host, was found shot to death inside their Linwood home.

Kauffman, a New Jersey doctor running an illegal prescription opioid drug ring with a motorcycle gang had a member hire someone to kill his wife after she threatened to expose the scheme while trying to force him to agree to a divorce, authorities said Tuesday. Six other people have also since been arrested, and face racketeering charges linked to this case.

Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner said Tuesday Kauffman "was intent to have her killed, as opposed to losing his financial empire".

Now, April's 69-year-old husband, Dr. James Kauffman, stands charged with her brutal murder, along Pagans Motorcycle Club member Ferdinand "Miserable" Augello, former Pagans Paul "Burr" Pagano and Glen "Slasher" Seeler were charged with racketeering as part of a drug ring tied to Kauffman and the Pagans. One more twist: Augello also is charged with conspiring to try to kill James Kauffman.

Kauffman, who was already being held at the Atlantic County Justice Facility, is now being charged with murder, racketeering and first-degree leader.

Calling Kauffman "innocent", Ed Jacobs, the doctor's attorney, said, "I can tell you putting it in writing doesn't change anything".

An endocrinologist, Kauffman allegedly gave free oxycodone scripts to at least two people sent by Augello, Tyner said.

Shore doctor James Kauffman charged in 2012 murder of his wife April Kauffman
Husband charged with hiring hitman to kill South Jersey radio host April Kauffman

Mulholland died of a drug overdose in 2013, authorities said. She was also a radio host, entrepreneur and hairdresser.

James Kauffman "solicited" Augello in the summer of 2011 to kill his wife after she threatened to expose her husband's alliance with the Pagans when he objected to a divorce settlement, prosecutors allege.

On the day of April's murder, it is believed that Francis Mullholland received a ride to the Kauffman residence in the early morning hours of May 10, 2012. (Vernon Ogrodnek/The Press of Atlantic City via AP) James Kauffman is shown in an undated photo provided by the Atlantic County, NJ, Prosecutor's office. Dr. Kauffman is accused of hatching a murder-for-hire plot that ended with his wife's death. The doors were left open and Francis Mullholland was given a gun.

"As you can imagine today is a very, very hard day for me and my family... a lot of mixed emotions", said Pack.

"I have been waiting patiently for justice, and today I was lucky enough to be granted justice", Pack said of the murder charge. Francis Mullholland has stated that he received approximately $20,000 in cash for his role, though this number has been speculated at being higher, said authorities. During the search at his medical practice, Kauffman allegedly confronted the officers while brandishing a Ruger 9mm handgun. April Kauffman, 47, was shot twice, and her body was found by a handyman.

Authorities brought in a hostage negotiator and ultimately brought Kauffman into custody on weapons charges.

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