New Jersey Doctor James Kauffman has been charged for an alleged murder-for-hire plot that resulted in the death of his wife, beloved radio personality April Kauffman.
Nearly six years after the murder, endocrinologist Dr. James Kauffman has been arrested on a number of charges, including first-degree murder of his wife, radio personality April Kauffman, and first-degree racketeering.
On top of that, police allege that Kauffman ran an illegal drug distribution network that was tied to the Pagan Outlaw Motorcycle Club.
Kauffman was initially arrested in June 2017 on weapons and obstruction charges after a search of his medical office.
An Alleged Drug Empire and Murder for Hire
Prosecutors allege that Kauffman had begun working with members of the Pagan Outlaw Motorcycle Club to illegally distribute drugs like “OxyContin.” As this plan was coming to fruition, Kauffman’s marriage to April was falling apart.
April was a radio host and businesswoman, as well as a vocal advocate for military veterans. Authorities claim that April threatened to divorce Kauffman and expose his alleged drug-dealing enterprise.
It’s believed that Kauffman then asked Ferdinand Augello, a member of the Pagans, to find someone to kill his wife. Augello allegedly turned to Francis Mullholland.
In May 2012, prosecutors claim, Mullholland shot April twice in her home. Mullholland, who was allegedly paid $20,000 for the murder, later died of a drug overdose.
James Kauffman’s Fall
While he had long been a suspect in his wife’s murder, Kauffman initially evaded arrest for the crime. However, officials started to piece together clues related to the alleged drug-running scheme.
In June 2017, they executed a search warrant on his office. Apparently fearing arrest, Kauffman pulled a gun on the police searching the office. After a 45-minute standoff, Kauffman surrendered.
The resultant weapons and obstruction charges allowed investigators to dig deeper into the murder investigation without worrying about Kauffman fleeing.
Augello was among the seven other people arrested in connection to the alleged drug ring. He was charged with racketeering, the murder of April Kauffman, and interestingly, conspiracy to commit the murder of James Kauffman.
Police say that the alleged drug business was shut down with Kauffman’s arrest in 2017.