Doctor charged with having wife killed to protect drug ring

Joseph Mullholland

Hide Caption Show Caption Joseph Mullholland

Prosecutors announced murder charges against James Kauffman and a member of the Pagan Outlaw Motorcycle Gang on Tuesday in the May 2012 shooting death of April Kauffman.

A New Jersey physician has been charged with murder after allegedly ordering the killing of his wife, who was seeking a divorce and threatening to expose his illegal opioid ring, prosecutors said.

Also due in court is 61-year-old Ferdinand Augullo, who is also charged in Kauffman's death, as well as with later conspiring to kill James Kauffman, and with first-degree racketeering.

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.

Tyner says he was paid $20,000 after Kauffman said he would rather she be killed than granting her a divorce.

"As you can imagine today is a very, very hard day for me and my family... a lot of mixed emotions", said Pack. "He was intent to have her killed as opposed to losing his financial empire, as he described it to several individuals", said Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner.

"As you can imagine today is a very, very hard day for me and for my family", Pack told reporters. Six years later, he Kauffman has been charged with murder.

According to a report in the New York Post, Kimberly Pack, April's daughter, claimed for a long time her stepfather killed her mother.

Kauffman co-hosted a beloved local radio program called "Veterans Matters", and the circumstances of her death had always been a topic of speculation.

Kauffman's attorney, Ed Jacobs, said he had not officially been informed of the charges but said Kauffman has long maintained his innocence. She received the award a few days before being murdered.

In the summer of 2011, April Kauffman wanted a divorce and after James Kauffman objected she threatened to expose the drug ring, Tyner said.

Kauffman would allegedly receive $1,000 from Augello for each opioid prescription he wrote, which the gang would later sell on the street. "He was unsuccessful for nearly a year and James Kauffman was getting restless when Ferdinand Augello found Francis Mulholland".

Tyner said that Kauffman told Augello about his wife's threats and solicited him to have her killed.

Mulholland died of a drug overdose in 2013, authorities said.

Mullholland originally was identified as a cousin of a member of the motorcycle gang, but a spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office later said that was incorrect.

James Kauffman has been in police custody since June 2017 when he was arrested after police raided his practice in Egg Harbor, New Jersey, Tyner said. Authorities said he brandished a handgun as agents executed a search warrant and said, "I'm not going to jail for this!"

Kauffman's medical license was suspended in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and he was indicted on gun charges.

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