Disgraced Doctor James Kauffman Charged With Hiring Hitman To Kill His Wife

  • Disgraced Doctor James Kauffman Charged With Hiring Hitman To Kill His Wife

Disgraced Doctor James Kauffman Charged With Hiring Hitman To Kill His Wife

As part of the operation, James Kauffman and 61-year-old Ferdinand Augello of Petersburg, New Jersey worked with the Pagan Outlaw Motorcycle Gang and used his medical practice to illegally distribute drugs, prosecutors say. Kauffman was found murdered inside her home more than five years ago.

Kauffman, 47, was killed, Tyner said, because she threatened to blow the whistle on her husband's alleged criminal activities while they were in the midst of a bitter divorce.

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

Kauffman "was intent to have [April] killed, as opposed to losing his financial empire", Atlantic County prosecutor Damon Tyner said.

"I have been waiting patiently for justice, and today I was lucky enough to be granted justice", Pack said of the murder charge.

In this May 25, 2016, photo, Kim Pack poses with a photo of her late mother, talk-show host April Kauffman, in Linwood, N.J. Pack's stepfather, Dr. James Kauffman, was charged in the murder of her mother April on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018. It wasn't known if Kauffman had retained an attorney. James Kauffman allegedly wrote free prescriptions for opioids, including Percocet, Oxycontin and Oxycodone, to individuals who were sent to his office by Augello.

A health benefits fraud investigation was initiated by the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office over the summer; it is running parallel to a federal investigation centered on South Jersey doctors, pharmaceutical representatives and public employees that may also involve Kauffman. 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.

Augello allegedly received a cash payment of $1,000 per prescription or a predetermined number of pills once the script was filled. He went inside, shot April Kauffman twice, killing her, and then left.

Tyner said that Kauffman told Augello about his wife's threats and solicited him to have her killed. Her body was discovered by a handyman who cared for pet birds in the couple's home in the suburb of Atlantic City. They were unsuccessful for a year until, in 2012, Augello found Francis "Frank" Mullholland, a cousin of Pagan associate Joseph Mullholland, and a member of the drug enterprise, officials said.

Following April's murder, the drug enterprise continued for five additional years until the enterprise folded in June of 2017 with the arrest of James Kauffman.

On June 13, when police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrived to execute a search warrant at his Ocean Heights Avenue medical office, Kauffman pulled out a 9 mm handgun, leading to a 45-minute standoff before he eventually surrendered. Kauffman pointed a 9mm Ruger handgun at officers and a hostage negotiator was brought in, Tyner said.

Many people from the quiet town of Linwood, New Jersey are breathing a sigh of relief now that an arrest has been made in the death of April Kauffman.