James Kauffman: Murder Charge for Doctor Accused of Having Wife Killed

Ferdinand Augello

Almost six years after a South Jersey radio host, businesswoman and veterans advocate was found shot and killed in her home, authorities charged her doctor husband with orchestrating a murder-for-hire plot.

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. Another six people connected to the gang were charged in the drug ring.

"James Kauffman stated he would sooner kill April than grant the divorce and lose half his empire", Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner said.

They worked with the Pagans Outlaw Motorcycle Gang to illegally distribute drugs from Kauffman's Egg Harbor Township medical practice, reported the NBC News. "He was unsuccessful for nearly a year and James Kauffman was getting restless when Ferdinand Augello found Francis Mulholland". Six years later, he Kauffman has been charged with murder.

Kauffman has long maintained his innocence and denies any involvement in his wife's death, his attorney Ed Jacobs told Philly. "He went inside and shot April Kauffman-twice", Tyner explained.

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.

Three other people - Joseph Mulholland, 52, of the Villas in Cape May County; Beverly Augello, 47, of Summerland Key, Florida; and Glen Seeler, 37, of Sanford, North Carolina - also face first-degree racketeering charges for their alleged roles in the scheme.

The disgraced doctor and Augullo spent a year looking for somebody to kill Kauffman, and on the day she died the doors of their home in tony Linwood "were left open and Francis Mullholland was given a gun", Tyner said.

"Ferdinand Augello propositioned a number of individuals to murder April Kauffman", the prosecutor's statement read.

The Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office, the Cape May County Prosecutor's Office, the FBI and the Linwood, Egg Harbor Township, Somers Point and Lower Township police departments all collaborated on the investigation. Dr. Kauffman is accused of hatching a murder-for-hire plot that ended with his wife's death.

According to a report in the New York Post, Kimberly Pack, April's daughter, claimed for a long time her stepfather killed her mother. Those who received them either used the drugs or sold them, authorities said.

"I have been waiting patiently for justice, and today I was lucky enough to be granted justice", Pack said. "I think for the first time, today I can actually breathe". During the search at his medical practice, Kauffman allegedly confronted the officers while brandishing a Ruger 9mm handgun. She was found shot to death - and face down - in a second-floor bedroom. A hostage negotiator persuaded him to surrender.

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