A doctor from New Jersey, who was accused of hiring a person to kill his wife after she threatened to divorce and expose him for running an illegal prescription opioid drug ring with Pagans motorcycle gang, was charged Tuesday. He was arrested in June 2017.
Dr. James Kauffman’s wife April Kauffman, a New Jersey radio host, was shot inside their Linwood home on May 10, 2012. The 47-year-old April suffered several gunshot wounds and was declared dead at the crime scene. The two were married on Valentine’s Day in 2003. Dr. Kauffman was an endocrinologist.
April, who hosted weekly talk shows and was an advocate for military veterans, had received a governor’s award for her extraordinary service towards the community. She received the award a few days before being murdered.
Dr. Kauffman, 68, and his partner in crime Ferdinand Augello, 62, of Petersburg were charged with murder, first-degree racketeering, and first-degree leader of racketeering.
They worked with the Pagans Outlaw Motorcycle Gang to illegally distribute drugs from Kauffman's Egg Harbor Township medical practice, reported the NBC News.
According to various reports, the investigators found the doctor used to write free prescriptions to people who were referred to his office by Augello, which would include drugs that were high in demand, such as percocet, oxycontin and oxycodone.
For each prescription Augello allegedly received $1,000 in cash or a number of prescription pills. The patients who did not have insurance used to pay $100 to $250 per visit.
Atlantic County prosecutor Damon Tyner alleged Dr. Kauffman had “propositioned a number of individuals to murder April Kauffman.” He claimed the members of the Pagans were also involved in the case.
Tyner said a man named Francis Mulholland, who died of drug overdose, had shot April twice. He was paid $20,000 in cash for the murder. Mulholland was initially identified as a cousin of a member of the motorcycle gang. However, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office later denied this. It was not clear when Mulholland had overdosed.
According to a report in the New York Post, Kimberly Pack, April’s daughter, claimed for a long time her stepfather killed her mother. She also said the death “forever changed my life.”
“I have been waiting patiently for justice, and today I was lucky enough to be granted justice,” Pack said, adding, “I think for the first time, today I can actually breathe.”
Addressing a press conference Tuesday, Pack said, “This is a really emotional day. My mom used to say the squeaky wheel gets the most oil, and I feel like that is definitely true here.”
Calling Kauffman “innocent,” Ed Jacobs, the doctor’s attorney, said, “I can tell you putting it in writing doesn’t change anything. He is innocent of any complicity in his wife’s murder before this indictment.”
Apart from Dr. Kauffman and Augello, Joseph Mulholland of Villas, New Jersey; Beverly Augello; Glenn Seeler of Sanford, North Carolina; Paul Pagano of Egg Harbor Township; Tabitha Chapman of Absecon, New Jersey; and Cheryl Pizza of Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, were also arrested in connection to the case.