April Kauffman was killed to protect more than an Oxycontin ring, an affidavit in the case against her husband shows.
The veterans advocate and local radio host was attempting to use the knowledge of her husband’s illicit scheme to “leverage a financially beneficial divorce,” according to the sealed 69-page search warrant affidavit obtained by a reporter working for BreakingAC.
A burner phone appears to have been used to plot her killing, and perhaps the underlying opioid drug operation.
Her husband called the burner’s number 322 times, until it went silent the afternoon before the killing.
April Kauffman was shot twice early May 10, 2012, while in the master bedroom of the Linwood home she shared with her husband of about a decade.
It wouldn’t be until more than five years later — Jan. 9 of this year — that James Kauffman would be charged in her killing, and a drug ring that included at least seven others.
Just more than two weeks later, James Kauffman would die in the Hudson County jail of an apparent suicide on Jan. 26.
He was reportedly sent to protect him from alleged partner Freddy Augello, who is charged with planning to kill the doctor after his June 13 arrest at his Egg Harbor Township office, where authorities came to serve a search warrant.
They were also investigating three multimillion dollar insurance and medical frauds not previously disclosed, according to the affidavit, including a compounding drug scheme that has seen 19 people plead guilty in South Jersey.
James Kauffman made bogus claims of military service, reinforcing his lies by wearing a green beret and buying marksmanship medals online, the warrant also shows.
It was ruse his veterans’ advocate wife threatened to expose, according to the affidavit.
The warrant alleges shielding the drug distribution ring allied with the Pagans Motorcycle Club from exposure led to murder.
But the affidavit claimed protecting the Oxy ring wasn’t the only motivator for the hit. The doctor also wanted to secure all his assets in the face of a threatened divorce.
Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Detective James Scoppa Jr. said in the search warrant affidavit he believed April Kauffman was aware of not just the Oxy scheme, but her husband’s other financial scams, as well as his false claim of military service.
April Kauffman had threatened to expose her husband as part of pushing for the best possible financial terms for a divorce, according to Scoppa’s sworn statement.
How the additional medical fraud allegations play out remains an unaddressed mystery with James Kauffman dead.
Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner had arranged the suspended doctor’s move to North Jersey, supposedly because Hudson was a safer facility, free of jailed Pagans members. However, a rash of suicides have plagued the facility during the past two years.
A source has said authorities were offering Kauffman a plea in the murder and Oxy cases in return for information about the other frauds just days before he committed suicide.
Authorities have not spoken of the additional allegations contained in the search warrant.
The FBI declined comment late last week.
The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office did not respond.
Lawyers Louis Barbone and Ed Jacobs, who represented Kauffman, also did not respond to a request for comment.
Public explanations for the raid on Kauffman’s Egg Harbor Township medical office, his home offices and also his SUV were scant and cryptic, especially given a 38-minute armed standoff resulted.
The disgraced endocrinologist — he lost his license following his arrest — had threatened to kill himself during the faceoff on June 13, as dozens of law enforcement personnel surrounded his office.
Following Kauffman’s surrender, Tyner spoke of “ongoing criminal activity,” just ever so briefly alluding to the unsolved-murder of Kauffman’s wife, emphasizing the focus of the search was primarily aimed at medical records, not the killing.
More than 110 items were seized from Kauffman’s office, home and vehicle, according to inventories attached to the affidavit.
When Kauffman and his alleged confederates with ties to the Pagans Motorcycle Club were arrested earlier this year, it seemed the mystery of the medical record search was solved.
But as more information becomes available, the story may be a lot more complex.