James Kauffman charged in murder of wife, veterans advocate April Kauffman

James Kauffman charged in murder of wife, veterans advocate April Kauffman

For almost six years, Kimberly Pack pushed and prodded authorities to investigate her stepfather, Dr. James Kauffman, for the fatal shooting of her mom, who was found dead on May 10, 2012, in her home on the Jersey Shore.

Also charged was Ferdinand Augello, who allegedly helped Kauffman run the narcotics enterprise and hired a hit man to kill the doctor's wife when she threatened to expose them, authorities said.

"As a result of April Kauffman's desire to divorce James Kauffman, he was intent to have her killed, as opposed to losing his 'financial empire, '" Tyner said. James Kauffman allegedly wrote free prescriptions for opioids, including Percocet, Oxycontin and Oxycodone, to individuals who were sent to his office by Augello.

Along with the murder charge, he is also facing trial for first-degree racketeering and first-degree leader of racketeering.

Kauffman's attorney, Edwin Jacobs of Jacobs and Barbone in Atlantic City, maintained his client's innocence as he has for the last five and a half years. Tyner said Kauffman and four of the other defendants, Ferdinand Augello, Paul Pagano, Tabitha Chapman and Joseph Mulholland will have their first appearance in court Thursday. "As a victim, May 10, 2012, forever changed my life".

Tyner said Tuesday that April Kauffman knew about the illegal drug activity and was threatening to go to authorities.

Kauffman, who faces charges of first-degree murder and first-degree racketeering, denies involvement in his wife's death.

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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. (Vernon Ogrodnek/The Press of Atlantic City via AP) James Kauffman is shown in an undated photo provided by the Atlantic County, NJ, Prosecutor's office. The doors were left open and Francis Mullholland was given a gun.

Police found April Kauffman with wounds from multiple gunshots, prosecutors said.

"As you can imagine today is a very, very hard day for me and my family... a lot of mixed emotions", said Pack. "I have been waiting patiently for justice, and today I was lucky enough to be granted justice". 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. April Kauffman, 47, was shot twice, and her body was found by a handyman.

Authorities say April allegedly attempted to spend as much money as she could until a divorce was granted, authorities revealed on Tuesday.

Kauffman, an endocrinologist, has been held at the Atlantic County jail since his June 13 arrest on weapons and obstruction charges related to the execution of a search warrant at his Egg Harbor Township medical practice.

"He brandished a weapon, a 9mm Ruger handgun and at that time it was necessary for us to bring in a hostage negotiator", said Tyner.

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