SPOKANE, Wash. — A Spokane doctor accused of plotting to have his estranged wife assaulted, kidnapped and drugged on the dark web appeared in federal court Wednesday afternoon.
Ronald Ilg is charged with attempted kidnapping after the FBI was tipped off about the plot by the woman. FBI special agent and key witness Ryan Butler testified today in the suspect's preliminary and detention hearing, that the wife was informed of the plot by the crew of an unnamed international news organization investigating the dark web.
During Ilg's detention hearing, a judge ordered he remain in custody after two-and-a-half hours of testimony and arguments from the defense and prosecution.
Ilg's next court appearance is scheduled for May 5 at 1:30 p.m.
Federal court documents say Ilg’s estranged wife gave investigators text messages where she accused Ilg of trying to hire someone to carry out a week-long kidnapping and trying to pay them in Bitcoin. He wanted the kidnapping to coincide with his trip to Mexico. Ilg later denied the allegations in an interview with the FBI.
According to documents, on Feb. 23 and Feb. 24 Ilg, using the moniker Scar215, request a hitman to assault a former employee of his and to break her hands in exchange for $1,984.45 in Bitcoin.
“The target should be given a significant beating that is obvious. It should injure both hands significantly or break the hands. I tried to attach a pic but it wouldn’t load,” court documents say Ilg wrote in a post on the website.
Then in late March and early April, Ilg, using the same moniker, sought a hitman to kidnap, assault, drug and extort his estranged wife, documents say. In the messages the FBI obtained from the news organization, Ilg allegedly discussed violent acts against his estranged wife, her father and her dog.
“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. 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 read.
“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,” the message goes on to say.
According to court documents, Ilg also offered a bonus if the goals of her halting court proceedings, getting back together with him (Ilg), planting drugs in her home, giving her drugs and taking photos of her doing drugs were met.
Documents show Ilg gave out his estranged wife’s schedule and where she worked in the messages and was eager to get the ball rolling in the scheme.
“Can you please encourage your guy to start now. I have $40k in a wallet right now. I tried to send a pic of it but I cant get this email to select that file. I will start moving the Bitcoin as soon as we agreed on an escrow. But it will take a couple days to get there. I dont want to loose much more time,” the message reads.
Court documents also show that Ilg warned that kidnapping her when she had the children would be a bad idea because it would be publicized.
“If she doesnt have kids AND she is forced to send texts out to work and any nosey friends, she could say she has COVID and is quarantined. So, please have him start now and send me updates and pics as soon as you have her,” the message says.
He then assured that $40,000 in Bitcoin would be available for whoever carried out the kidnapping, documents say.
Court documents said the FBI was able to identify Ilg by obtaining account records from Coinbase.com, which was used in the alleged transaction. The account was under Ilg’s name and included his phone number, email address and social security number, documents say. Altogether, court documents show Ilg transferred over $56,000 for the attack on both his former employee and estranged wife.
Court documents include text messages where Ilg was accused of hiring someone on the dark web to hurt his estranged wife. Ilg denied the allegation saying, “the dark web is all a scam as all the studies show.”
According to documents, the FBI executed a search warrant at Ilg’s home on April 11 where they found a safe which contained a sticky note with the moniker ‘Scar215’ and a password written below it.
On the same day, Ilg was questioned by FBI agents at the Spokane airport as he returned home from Mexico. Ilg said he used a disposable phone to contact the would-be kidnapper, but the phone was thrown into a pool at a resort in Mexico, court documents say. Ilg had gone to Mexico with another woman, according to documents. He also told the agents he was hiring a hitman as a way to commit suicide so that his assets would go to the woman he took to Mexico.
On April 12, court documents said FBI agents were notified by the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office that Ilg had tried to kill himself.
Court documents say deputies found Ilg with a black eye lying unconscious on the kitchen floor. The deputy learned 46 Xanax pills were missing and a suicide note was found in the kitchen next to a business card for one of the FBI agents.
His attorney Carl Oreskovich told KREM 2's Morgan Trau they are confident that they will be able to prove their client has mental health issues and should be in a psychiatric facility instead of in custody and there is no definite proof that Scar215 is actually Ilg. The defense had a passionate response urging the suspect is a major flight risk due to him being dangerous, his money, and his intelligence
State medical records show Ilg has been a licensed physician and surgeon in Washington state since September 2003. KREM 2 reached out to the Washington Medical Commission to see if the charges could impact his ability to practice medicine. As of Monday evening, we have not heard back.