Justice In Jersey

June 19, 2018

All Posts, News

Justice In Jersey

You can get a pretty good idea of who Ferdinand “Freddy” Augello is by shuffling through a thousand or so of his old photos.

He is a New York Giants fan. He likes cats and dogs. He likes to make things with his hands. He loves a woman who makes him smile. He has loved electric guitars since he was a kid. He likes to build them. Sometimes he likes to paint skulls on them. Sometimes he likes to dress up like a mountain man. He has been around the block. He has tattoos and 80s rocker hair. If he is a drug dealer he is not making much money at it. If he is a psychopathic killer, he is good at hiding that.

Maybe Augello is who Atlantic County, New Jersey Chief Assistant Prosecutor Seth Levy and Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Detective James Scoppa Jr. say he is – Hannibal Lecter or, maybe, Tony Montana. Levy and Scoppa stand in front of a judge named Bernard DeLury about once a month and tell each other the story that Augello is a criminal mastermind.

Or, maybe Augello is just another middle aged guy in a brand name motorcycle club with the bad habit of talking back and an ex-friend who found himself in a bigtime jam and had to come up with a name, just a name, to hang a notorious cold case on.

James Kauffman’s Bad Divorce

Six months ago Scoppa, with or without the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, came up with a story. Once upon a time a doctor named James Kauffman had a serious problem. Although they still shared a bedroom, Kauffman’s marriage to his wife April was falling apart. She wanted a divorce on her terms. According to Scoppa, April Kauffman knew her husband was involved in a scheme to profit from medically unnecessary drug prescriptions. April Kauffman knew he was selling opiates into the drug underground, Scoppa’s story went. And she knew her husband wasn’t the former Green Beret he sometimes claimed to be. She would tell the world about him if he didn’t give her what she wanted in the divorce. It wasn’t an empty threat. She was a well-known veteran’s advocate and a popular radio host.

James Kauffman turned to Augello for help. Not only, according to Scoppa, was Augello a co-conspirator in Kauffman’s opiate scheme but he he was master criminal who had somehow gone through his life without being charged with any crime. Augello knew a guy who knew a guy named Francis Mulholland. On May 10, 2012, Mulholland put two bullets in April Kauffman in the bedroom she and James Kauffman shared. James Kauffman, Scoppa’s story goes, knew Mulholland was coming and left the front door unlocked.

It was a sensational tragedy. As is true of tragedies, the world did not stop. Mulholland died of a drug overdose a year after April Kauffman.

Glick

Late last year a friend of Augello’s named Andrew Glick was arrested by the FBI for selling methamphetamine. Glick wore a wire for two months and tried to entice Augello into making incriminating statements. The extent to which he succeeded remains secret. Glick’s identity remains officially secret although in May he bragged about what he had done to Toronto Star reporter Peter Edwards. How Glick escaped to Canada and why he came back also remain mysteries. Edwards is the kind of investigative reporter who says what police want him to say.

James Kauffman was already in jail when Augello and six other apparently innocent people were arrested for drug distribution. He was arrested six months earlier and connected to the scheme to sell medically unnecessary prescriptions. When he was arrested, he threatened to kill himself.

In his story, pieced together from various sources, Scoppa said Augello had somehow attempted to have Dr. Kauffman killed in the local, Atlantic County jail, in order to coverup Augello’s involvement in April Kauffman’s murder – whatever that actually was. So Kauffman was moved to the Hudson County jail in northern New Jersey, a jail notorious for inmate suicides. Two weeks later Dr. Kauffman hung himself. He left behind a suicide note. The note is also secret.

Augello In Court

Augello was in court about two weeks ago. During that pretrial hearing, Augello’s public defender, Mary Linehan, asked judge DeLury for a look at Kauffman’s suicide note, Linehan had gotten a copy of the note but every single word had been blacked out. Linehan thought some of the blacked out words might be useful. The judge promised to try to get a copy from “Hudson County” and promised that as soon as he did he would read it privately and let Linehan know if she could read it too. DeLury also promised to consider releasing Glick’s name, since everybody already knows it.

And Levy and Scoppa did their act for the judge. Kauffman was only alive to kill himself because authorities had prevented Augello from killing him. There is no proof or even a rumor of proof that anybody ever planned to kill Kauffman in jail, although Augello is accused of attempting to murder Kauffman. The accusation is completely assumptive and rests on the observation that Kauffman was murdered but instead lived to kill himself.

At one point Levy asked Scoppa. “Was Freddy successful at having Kauffman murdered in jail?”

Scoppa replied, “No he was not because law enforcement, specifically our office and the FBI, took control of the situation and made sure that Fred was not going to be able to kill Dr. Kauffman.”

It continues to be a strange case. At its center, it is a drug case that doesn’t seem to have much to do with either of the tragic Kauffman’s or Freddy Augello. But simply by naming them all, and invoking the name Pagans, Levy and Scoppa have attracted much more attention to themselves than they would have attracted for a case that was simply about a guy named Andrew Glick getting caught selling drugs.

Augello is still being held without bail for an old, incompletely solved murder over a divorce that never happened and a murder that never was and a completely unprofitable drug business that might or might not have been.

Share
, , ,

3 Responses to “Justice In Jersey”

  1. Steel Says:

    The suicide note must be quite damning to law enforcement or it wouldn’t be so heavily redacted. Another prosecutorial scam being played

    Respects

    Steel

  2. freebird Says:

    One thing is for sure…. Kauffman’s suicide note does not hurt Augello. If it did it would not be redacted and they would waving it for everyone to see. Same thing with the recording if they even exist.

    This whole case is like trying to pick up a turd from the clean end!

  3. Paladin Says:

    Based on the logic of Levy and Scoppa, if one is unfortunate enough to have to live in New Jersey, one is automatically predisposed to criminal behavior, or so one would think.

    Paladin

Leave a Reply