Doctor charged with having wife killed to protect drug ring

Glenn Seeler

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They worked with the Pagans Outlaw Motorcycle Gang to illegally distribute drugs from Kauffman's Egg Harbor Township medical practice, reported the NBC News.

The Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office will hold a press conference at 4 p.m. today regarding Dr. James Kauffman.

Authorities allege Kauffman headed the drug enterprise with Ferdinand Augello, a 61-year-old Petersburg man, who also faces murder, conspiracy and racketeering charges. According to authorities, Dr. Kauffman enlisted the help of Ferdinand Augello, who allegedly was a key player in the drug ring.

In the summer of 2011, Kauffman solicited Augello to murder his wife because she was threatening a divorce and threatening to expose his drug enterprise which would cause him to "lose his empire".

"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 luckily enough to be granted justice".

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

Kauffman's attorney, Ed Jacobs, said he had not officially been informed of the charges but said Kauffman has long maintained his innocence.

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

The suspect has continued to stress that he was not involved in his wife' death. She had received a governor's award for outstanding community service a few days before her death.

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

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Prosecutors said James Kauffman gave free prescriptions to people sent by Augello and Augello would receive $1,000 per script or a number of pills after the script was filled. He then allegedly went inside the home through an unlocked door and shot April Kauffman twice before leaving. He is also charged with conspiring to murder James 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. Tyner says she threatened to expose him in an effort to gain a favorable divorce settlement. She was found shot to death - and face down - in a second-floor bedroom. He died from a drug overdose sometime after committing the murder. Mulholland was initially identified as a cousin of a member of the motorcycle gang.

Last June, police and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents launched a raid on Kauffman's home and medical practice. Authorities said he brandished a handgun as agents executed a search warrant and said, "I'm not going to jail for this!"

Authorities brought in a hostage negotiator and ultimately brought Kauffman into custody on weapons charges.

Kauffman's arrest in June sparked renewed interest in the murder and speculation about possible medical fraud.

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