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Pill Mills, Conspiracy, and Murder Charges

A Florida Keys woman was arrested recently, charged with first-degree racketeering. According to prosecutors out of Atlantic City, NJ, she is connected with the 2012 murder of a woman whose doctor-husband was at the center of a pill mill scheme in that state. The Summerland Key resident, Beverly Augello's arrest papers mentioned, "illegal distribution of narcotics and murder." However, she was not the only one involved in the conspiracy, racketeering, and murder plots that unfolded several years ago in New Jersey.

The Murder Plot

Dr. James Kauffman allegedly made the decision to kill his wife, April, over the fact that she threatened to expose his pill mill racketeering ring that had been established with the Pagans motorcycle gang. Dr. Kauffman had information that April wanted a divorce and to expose his illegal activity, and rather than follow-through with losing "half his empire," as Kauffman saw it, he allegedly decided that it was a better idea to murder his wife with two gunshots to the head.

The Suspects

Eight individuals in total were arrested and charged with taking part in the overall pill mill racketeering, conspiracy, and ultimately murder scheme. Beverly Augello's ex-husband, Ferdinand Augello, was accused along with Kauffman for the actual murder. According to the investigation, he was the one who ultimately hired the hit man to kill April in her home in May of 2012.

Beverly Augello's Involvement

Beverly Augello is accused of being the one who picked up the payment for the hit man, Francis Mullholland, who claimed he received $20,000 for the murder. Mullholland has since passed away, but it is suspected that he may have received more for the hit.

The Pill Mill at the Center of the Crimes

Dr. Kauffman is also accused of running an oxycontin pill mill operation out of his medical practice in New Jersey. Through his arrangement with the Pagans gang, he would provide oxycontin scripts for anyone they referred to him. Ferdinand Augello would also receive $1000 per script or a predetermined amount of pills throughout the transactions. This illegal operation continued to run for five years following the murder, until Kauffman's arrest in June of 2017.

In any criminal case, it's imperative that the accused have a qualified criminal defense attorney. Complications arising from various charges can make the criminal justice process confusing, and an experienced defense attorney can assist the accused as they navigate the charges against them.

References:

Filosa, G. (n.d.). A jailed doctor, his dead wife, a motorcycle gang - and a new arrest in Florida. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/florida-keys/article194868699.html

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