A South Jersey physician has been charged with murder five-and-a-half years after his wife, Linwood talk-show host April Kauffman, was found shot to death in their home.
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. On Tuesday, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner said the woman's husband, James Kauffman, feared she would go to police about his longstanding ties to the Pagan's Motorcycle Club, which helped the endocrinologist operate an illegal prescription drug network.
Kauffman was charged with and murder, first degree racketeering, and first degree leader of racketeering. Investigators at the time said the manner of death was an accidental drug overdose.
Tyner said Kauffman, 68, and a co-conspirator, Ferdinand Augello, 61, of Petersburg, N.J. conspired to solicit someone to commit the murder of April Kauffman for a year before finding a triggerman, identified by authorities as Francis "Frank" Mulholland.
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.
James Kauffman was never named as a suspect in the case, but in May 2017, he was the subject of a court motion by the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office to obtain DNA as part of the murder investigation.More news: LeSean McCoy Is Game Time Decision For Buffalo Bills Playoff Game
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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.
The suspect has continued to stress that he was not involved in his wife' death.
In August, Tyner said that subpoenas issued by the state to the municipalities of Margate, Atlantic City and Ventnor requesting employee health benefits information was partially related to the search of Kauffman's office. Those who received them either used the drugs or sold them, authorities said. "I think it puts the towns head to rest a little bit", said Linda Mullin, of Linwood.
Pack was 29 when her mother was killed. After about a year, a man who agreed to do it, Francis Mullholland, was driven to the home, where the doors were left open, and was given a gun, authorities said.
Prosecutors said the drug empire lasted until June, when Kauffman was arrested on weapons charges at his Egg Harbor Township office. "I have been waiting patiently for justice, and today I was lucky enough to be granted justice". Her body was discovered by a handyman who cared for pet birds in the couple's home in the suburb of Atlantic City.
Kauffman's practice was shut down last summer after authorities executed a search warrant and raid and he brandished a 9 mm gun and shouted "I'm not going to jail for this". Kauffman pointed a 9mm Ruger handgun at officers and a hostage negotiator was brought in, Tyner said.