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Spokane doctor accused of hiring hitman to kidnap, assault estranged wife pleads guilty to threats in interstate commerce

Because Ronald Ilg pleaded guilty to two counts of threats in interstate commerce, the attempted kidnapping and cyberstalking charges against him were dropped.

SPOKANE, Wash. — An influential Spokane doctor accused of hiring someone on the dark web to kidnap his estranged wife appeared in federal court on Wednesday and pled guilty to two counts of threats in interstate commerce.

Ronald Ilg, who has been a licensed physician in Washington state since 2003, originally pled not guilty to one count of attempted kidnapping in May 2021. However, he changed his plea to guilty in relation to two counts of threats in interstate commerce on Wednesday morning.

As a result of his guilty plea, the other charges against Ilg were dropped. Those charges include two counts of cyberstalking, one count of attempted kidnapping, one count of damage to a computer and one count of witness tampering.

Ilg's estranged wife reportedly gave investigators text messages where she accused him of trying to hire someone to carry out a week-long kidnapping. Court documents state Ilg wanted the kidnapping to coincide with his trip to Mexico.

During an interview with the FBI, Ilg denied these allegations.

Between Feb. 23-24, 2021, court documents state Ilg used the moniker Scar215 to request a hitman to assault a former employee of his by breaking his hand. Investigators said Ilg offered to pay the hitman nearly $2,000 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,” Ilg allegedly wrote in a post on the website.

In late March and early April 2021, Ilg reportedly used the same moniker to seek out a hitman to kidnap, assault, drug and extort his estranged wife. Court documents said Ilg discussed violent acts against his wife, her father and her dog in text messages.

“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 continued.

According to court documents, Ilg also offered a bonus if the goals of her halting court proceedings, getting back together with him, planting drugs in her home, giving her drugs and taking photos of her doing drugs were met.

Documents state 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 read.

Ilg also warned that kidnapping her when she had the children would be a bad idea because it would be publicized, according to court documents.

“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 said.

He then assured that $40,000 in Bitcoin would be available for whoever carried out the kidnapping.

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, according to documents. 

Altogether, Ilg reportedly transferred more than $56,000 for the attack on both his former employee and estranged wife.

According to documents, the FBI executed a search warrant at Ilg’s home on April 11, 2021, where they found a safe which contained a sticky note with the moniker ‘Scar215’ and a password written below it.

That same day, Ilg was questioned by FBI agents at the Spokane Airport as he returned home from Mexico. Ilg told investigators he used a disposable phone to contact the would-be kidnapper, but the phone was thrown into a pool at a resort in Mexico. 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.

FBI agents were notified by the Spokane County Sheriff's Office (SCSO) that Ilg tried to kill himself on April 12, 2021. Deputies found Ilg with a black eye lying unconscious on his kitchen floor. SCSO 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, according to documents.

Ilg was indicted by a federal grand jury on one count of attempted kidnapping in May 2021, a charge he originally pled not guilty to. More than a year after his original plea was entered, Ilg pled guilty to two counts of threats in interstate commerce on Wednesday.

Ilg now faces up to 10 years in prison. His sentencing is set for Nov. 8, 2022.

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