A outstanding New Jersey physician employed a person to kill his spouse after she threatened to show the unlawful prescription drug operation he ran out of his follow with a motorbike gang, prosecutors mentioned Tuesday.
James Kauffman, 68, of Linwood, a small city outdoors Atlantic Metropolis, was arrested and charged with first-degree homicide greater than 5 years after his spouse, native radio host April Kauffman, was discovered useless inside their dwelling. An alleged co-conspirator, Ferdinand Augello, 61, additionally faces first-degree homicide fees.
The Atlantic County prosecutor’s workplace, which investigated the case together with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and different companies, mentioned James Kauffman and Augello presided over an unlawful opioid community that was run out of Kauffman’s workplace by an alliance with the Pagan Outlaw Bike Gang.
The killing happened on the morning of Might 10, 2012, officers mentioned. A 911 report was made about an unconscious and unresponsive lady at Kauffman’s home round 11:30 a.m. Kauffman informed officers who arrived on the home that he discovered his 47-year-old spouse useless in the main bedroom on the second ground, in line with a launch.
Police and emergency medical responders discovered April Kauffman unconscious and mendacity face down on the ground, with wounds from a number of gunshots, prosecutors mentioned. She was declared useless about 11:45 a.m.
The case languished for years regardless of receiving media consideration from around the globe.
Now the Atlantic County prosecutor’s workplace mentioned that it believes that Kauffman’s killing resulted after divorce discussions took a very bitter flip.
“James Kauffman acknowledged he would sooner kill April than grant the divorce and lose ‘half his empire,’ ” a launch from the prosecutor’s workplace mentioned. His spouse “threatened” sure steps to acquire a divorce, spending as a lot cash as she might and threatening to show the unlawful drug operation at James Kauffman’s medical workplace, prosecutors mentioned.
Kauffman solicited Augello to homicide his spouse in 2011, the workplace mentioned.
“Finally, James Kauffman made the choice to kill April Kauffman,” the workplace reported in a launch, including that “Kauffman informed Augello that April threatened to show the unlawful OXY distribution community that they had established.”
Ed Jacobs, Kauffman’s lawyer, informed the Philadelphia Inquirer that Kauffman has lengthy maintained his innocence. “Suffice it to say that Dr. Kauffman has constantly denied any involvement in any respect within the murder of his spouse,” Jacobs informed the newspaper. It was not instantly clear whether or not Augello or the opposite defendants within the case had attorneys.
Prosecutors mentioned the racketeering operation concerned Kauffman giving free ache treatment prescriptions to folks despatched by Augello, who would obtain about $1,000 per prescription and various tablets as soon as that they had been stuffed. These with out insurance coverage have been required to pay $100 per go to, prosecutors mentioned. Six different folks in addition to Kauffman and Augello have been charged with racketeering within the case; each particular person concerned within the enterprise was “a Pagan, former Pagan or an affiliate of a Pagan,” prosecutors mentioned.
Prosecutors mentioned Augello propositioned various folks related with the Pagans for the killing. After almost a yr, he discovered Francis Mullholland, a cousin of a Pagan affiliate and a member of the drug enterprise, prosecutors mentioned.
On the day of April Kauffman’s loss of life, Mullholland was given a journey to the home, prosecutors mentioned. The doorways have been left open and Mullholland went inside, shot her twice and left, prosecutors mentioned. They imagine that each Mullholland and his cousin got funds; Mullholland mentioned he was given $20,000 for his function, however officers imagine that quantity could also be greater.
Mulholland died after what officers imagine was an unintended overdose in 2013, NJ.com reported.
The drug enterprise continued for greater than 5 years after the killing, prosecutors mentioned, till James Kauffman was arrested in June.
Officers had discovered Kauffman at his workplace in Egg Harbor Township on the time whereas executing a search warrant, in line with information reviews. Prosecutors mentioned that he brandished a 9mm handgun in entrance of officers, surrendering solely after a standoff involving a hostage negotiator. He was charged with illegal possession of a weapon, and obstruction, the prosecutor’s workplace mentioned and officers mentioned that the arrest was not associated to April Kauffman’s loss of life however different crimes on the time, the Press reported.
In 2013, James Kauffman filed a lawsuit in opposition to a life insurance coverage firm to obtain a payout for his spouse, however the firm mentioned it couldn’t give him the cash till it verified that he wasn’t concerned in her loss of life, in line with the Press of Atlantic Metropolis. His spouse’s daughter Kim Pack, a beneficiary of the plan, claimed publicly that she believed Kauffman was accountable for her mom’s homicide, and filed her personal lawsuit in court docket to say the insurance coverage, the Press reported. The physician had remarried by 2014, the newspaper mentioned.
Pack, the sufferer’s daughter from a earlier relationship, spoke to reporters Tuesday.
“I’ve been ready patiently for justice and at the moment I used to be fortunate sufficient to be granted justice,” she informed reporters in a video revealed by ABC. “I believe for the primary time at the moment I can really breathe. For the previous 5 and a half years, I really feel like I have been holding my breath every day.”
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