Slain radio host's husband hired hitman, ran drug ring

Joseph Mullholland

Joseph Mullholland

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. The drug scheme continued until Kauffman's arrest in June on weapons charges at his office.

Kauffman "was intent to have her killed, as opposed to losing his financial empire", Atlantic County prosecutor Damon Tyner said.

Now, April's 69-year-old husband, Dr. James Kauffman, stands charged with her brutal murder, along Pagans Motorcycle Club member Ferdinand "Miserable" Augello, former Pagans Paul "Burr" Pagano and Glen "Slasher" Seeler were charged with racketeering as part of a drug ring tied to Kauffman and the Pagans. "He was unsuccessful for nearly a year and James Kauffman was getting restless when Ferdinand Augello found Francis Mulholland".

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

Kauffman has long maintained his innocence and denies any involvement in his wife's death, his attorney Ed Jacobs told Philly.com.

But Tyner also said at the time that the raid involved the ongoing investigation into Kauffman's murder.

Tyner said Mullholland, who said he got about $20,000 in cash, was later found dead of a 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.

April Kauffman was found shot to death in the couple's bedroom May 10 2012 after her husband had left for work.

Prosecutors believe Mulholland, who is cousins with alleged Pagan associate and enterprise member Joseph Mulholland, was given a gun and a ride to the Kauffman home in the early morning hours of May 10, 2012. (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. "I have been waiting patiently for justice, and today I was lucky enough to be granted justice".

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. Those who received them either used the drugs or sold them, authorities said. The operation finally folded when Kauffman was arrested on weapons charges following a standoff with police at his Egg Harbor Township medical office on June 13, 2017.

Kimberly Pack says that her mother's death still haunts her and "forever changed [her] life". April Kauffman, 47, was shot twice, and her body was found by a handyman. Authorities said he brandished a handgun as agents executed a search warrant and said, "I'm not going to jail for this!"

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