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Doctor Accused of Having Wife Killed to Protect Drug Empire

Doctor Accused of Having Wife Killed to Protect Drug Empire

Almost six years after a South Jersey radio host, businesswoman and veterans advocate was found shot and killed in her home, authorities charged her doctor husband with orchestrating a murder-for-hire plot.

According to the court documents, Kauffman was running an illegal prescription opioid drug ring with the biker gang and made a decision to take extreme measures after his wife threatened to expose the racket.

"He was intent to have her killed as opposed to losing his financial empire", Tyner told reporters at a late afternoon press conference. 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.

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

Calling Kauffman "innocent", Ed Jacobs, the doctor's attorney, said, "I can tell you putting it in writing doesn't change anything".

April Kauffman was shot to death in her bedroom more than five years ago.

Tyner says he was paid $20,000 after Kauffman said he would rather she be killed than granting her a divorce.

Biker Ferdinand Augello has also been implicated in the crimes and allegedly "propositioned a number of individuals to murder April Kauffman".

During the early morning hours of May 10, 2012, Frank Mullholland received a ride to the Kauffmans home and was given a gun, officials said.

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The suspect has continued to stress that he was not involved in his wife' death. Those who received them either used the drugs or sold them, authorities said.

The Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office, the Cape May County Prosecutor's Office, the FBI and the Linwood, Egg Harbor Township, Somers Point and Lower Township police departments all collaborated on the investigation. Kauffman was found murdered inside her home more than five years ago.

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

"As you can imagine today is a very, very hard day for me and for my family", Pack told reporters.

"The doors were left open and Frank Mulholland was given a gun to carry out his task".

"For the first time today, I feel like I can actually breathe", she said.

Apart from Dr. Kauffman and Augello, Joseph Mulholland of Villas, New Jersey; Beverly Augello; Glenn Seeler of Sanford, North Carolina; Paul Pagano of Egg Harbor Township; Tabitha Chapman of Absecon, New Jersey; and Cheryl Pizza of Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, were also arrested in connection to the case.

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. Her body was discovered by a handyman who cared for pet birds in the couple's home in the suburb of Atlantic City. Kauffman pointed a 9mm Ruger handgun at officers and a hostage negotiator was brought in, Tyner said.