A Washington state doctor is behind bars, charged with a diabolical plan to hire hitmen off the dark web to maim a former employee and abduct and extort his estranged wife—a vengeful plot foiled by news reporters.
The allegations against Dr. Ronald Ilg, a Spokane neonatologist, contained in federal court papers include a polyamorous relationship, bitcoin payments, chilling text messages, and a suicide attempt.
“I fucked it up. Irreparable fuck up,” Ilg allegedly confessed in the note authorities discovered when they found him unconscious from an apparent Xanax overdose, which he survived.
The wild tale begins with journalists from an unnamed news organization—who have also derailed an alleged murder-for-hire plot in another state—investigating the seamiest, most anonymous corners of the online world.
According to a criminal complaint, the reporters found disturbing communications from Ilg and contacted one of his alleged targets, who then turned to authorities for help. Ilg is now behind bars, charged with attempted kidnapping.
It appears that before his arrest, Ilg’s life was in tatters. As first reported by The Spokesman-Review, he recently filed a lawsuit claiming he was wrongly forced out of his medical practice over harassment claims by a former employee. He was also embroiled in a divorce and custody battle.
In February, Ilg allegedly used the moniker Scar215 on the dark web to try to hire someone to attack the former employee, putting almost $2,000 into an escrow account. “The target should be given a significant beating that is obvious. It should injure both hands significantly or break the hands,” the message read.
It’s unclear from the court documents if Ilg found someone to take his offer, but it’s well known that many murder-for-hire schemes on the dark web are scams. Regardless, the feds say, Ilg again returned to it to deal with a new target: his soon-to-be ex-wife.
She later told the FBI that she married Ilg in 2016 and had a baby less than two years later. The doctor then met a woman on the internet and “invited her into the relationship.” The wife “increasingly became uncomfortable with the relationship” and moved to end the marriage, the complaint says.
In March and April of this year, the complaint alleges, Ilg placed bitcoin in escrow and tried to hire someone to carry out a completely insane plan to make his wife drop her divorce plans and return home.
“I need a rush job for next week. I need the target kidnapped for five to seven days. While being held she is given at least daily doses of heroin. She is also strongly persuaded to do a few things within two weeks,” he allegedly wrote, using the moniker Scar215.
“1, stop ALL Court proceedings, 2, return to your husband and the chaos you created, 3. Tell absolutely no one about this. Also, the team should plant heroin and used needles with her DNA inside. After about seven days she is returned to her home,” the message continued.
In another message, Scar215 added: “She should be told that her families health, including her father and her kids, depend on her completing these rules. It would be unfortunate if her older boy became addicted to heroin. Or her dad be severely beaten or her dog be slaughtered. Any and all persuasion should be used.”
Scar215 set up a bonus plan in which the kidnapper would be paid certain sums for getting the wife to do certain things—including an agreement that she would have sex with him three times a week.
“She is strong for a woman. And she is stubborn and will need lots of persuasion,” he wrote.
Ilg allegedly devised an alibi for the proposed kidnapping: The week in question, he traveled to Mexico with the other woman in the threesome—identified in court papers as Witness #1.
Two months earlier, the girlfriend had apparently tried to warn the wife that he was trying to hire someone from the dark web to hurt her by sending text messages of a conversation she had with him, and she also sent a text to the wife while in Mexico.
“Some strange stuff has happened while we have been here,” she wrote.“I need to talk to you ASAP when we get back.”
When Ilg and the girlfriend returned to the U.S. on April 11, the FBI was waiting to question him.
According to the complaint, the doctor admitted he “used a Tracfone to contact a hitman on the dark web, but claimed that the phone was tossed into a swimming pool in Mexico by [the girlfriend] after she suspected Ilg of using the phone to talk to other women.”
The FBI says Ilg then claimed that he was hiring the hitman to kill him. His story: He wanted to die by suicide but wanted it to look like an accident so the girlfriend would inherit his assets—though he then admitted he had not altered his will or life insurance so that she could collect.
The same day, the FBI also searched Ilg’s home and found a locked safe that could be only be opened with the doctor’s fingerprint and contained a sticky note with the username Scar215 and a password that agents used to log into the dark web and obtain his messages.
Special Agent Eric Barker wrote that on April 13, he was alerted by the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office that “Ilg attempted to kill himself.” According to Barker’s affidavit, a deputy got a call for a possible assault at Ilg’s home and arrived to find him “with a black eye, lying unconscious on the kitchen floor.” Also found: a medication sheet indicating “that there were approximately 46 missing pills of Xanax. ”
The deputy also found a note from Ilg next to Barker’s business card. It contained a message to the girlfriend: “I love you with everything I have. I’m sorry. Please remember the good. I loved no other more than you.”
There was also a message for the wife that at first blamed her for not returning his love, but added: “You have a big heart that I destroyed.”
Ilg—who most recently worked for a nonprofit nursery for babies born dependent on drugs—has not yet appeared in court, and the court docket did not contain the name of a defense attorney.