MAYS LANDING — Dr. James Kauffman was indicted Wednesday on three weapons charges and one obstruction charge, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office said.

The charges stem from June 13 search warrants executed by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, with FBI agents and local police agencies.

Officers went to Kauffman’s medical office in Egg Harbor Township and his home addresses in Linwood, Philadelphia and Arizona.

As they attempted to execute the warrant at the medical office, the 68-year-old endocrinologist drew a Ruger 9mm handgun and pointed it toward his chest while police negotiated with him, authorities said.

Kauffman surrendered after 45 minutes and was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, possession of hollow-point bullets and obstruction of the administration of law.

Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner said Wednesday an Atlantic County grand jury indicted Kauffman on two second-degree charges of unlawful possession of a weapon, one of unlawful possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and one fourth-degree charge of obstructing the administration of law or government function.

Kauffman was married to radio host and veterans advocate April Kauffman when she was discovered shot to death in the couple’s Woodstock Drive home in Linwood in May 2012.

The doctor has not been named as a suspect in the case, and authorities have said the June 13 warrants were unrelated to their ongoing investigation into the homicide.

Kauffman was taken into custody June 13 at the Psychiatric Intervention Program for monitoring.

In July, the state Appellate Division of Superior Court upheld Kauffman’s pretrial detention, and he remains in custody at the Atlantic County jail.

In early August, Tyner said the search of Kauffman’s office in June was partially related to an investigation of alleged prescription drug-compounding fraud involving public employees in Atlantic City, Margate and Ventnor.

Drug compounding is a process in which a pharmacist or doctor alters or mixes ingredients into a custom drug, according to the federal Food & Drug Administration.

Little information has been released about the county’s investigation, but federal authorities have also been investigating health-benefits fraud in three Absecon Island municipalities, including Atlantic City, over the past few months.

Five people have pleaded guilty in that investigation, including retired Atlantic City firefighter Michael Pepper, 45, of Northfield, and Matthew Tedesco, a 42-year-old pharmaceutical representative from Linwood who pleaded guilty to health care fraud charges for leading a conspiracy that netted him $11 million in profit in about a year.

Three others from outside the region who pleaded guilty are Steven Robert Urbanski, 37, a pharmacological broker from Marlton; Thomas J. Hodnett, 41, a pharmaceutical sales representative from Voorhees; and Robert Bessey, 43, of Philadelphia.

Plea agreements described a massive prescription-fraud scheme that involved recruiting public employees — teachers, firefighters, municipal police officers and state troopers — to obtain prescriptions for patients whom doctors never treated.

The prescriptions included compounded pain creams, scar creams, antifungal creams, libido creams and certain vitamin combinations.

In exchange, the doctors allegedly would receive kickbacks from an out-of-state compounding pharmacy and pay co-conspirators.

Pepper, Hodnett and Urbanski all have sentencing scheduled for Dec. 5, while Tedesco and Bessey are scheduled for sentencing Dec. 4. All could face as many as 10 years in prison.

Contact: 609-272-7219 @MichelleBPost

Staff Writer

In my first job after college got paid to read the New York Times and summarize articles for an early online data base. First reporting job was with The Daily Record in Parsippany. I have also worked in nonprofits, and have been with The Press since 1990.

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