A Washington state doctor has been charged with a plan to hire hitmen through the dark web to abduct and extort his estranged wife and maim a former employee.
The allegations have been brought against Dr. Ronald Ilg, a neonatologist from Spokane, and involve a polyamorous relationship, bitcoin payments to potential contract killers, chilling text messages and an attempted suicide.
He has been charged with attempted kidnapping, a federal offence that carries a 20-year prison term, after the FBI were tipped off by his wife, who herself was informed by a group of unnamed international journalists investigating the so-called ‘dark web’, according to The Spokesman-Review.
The unnamed woman gave the FBI text messages in which she is shown accusing Ilg of trying to hire someone to carry out a seven-day kidnapping – with a set of harrowing instructions – before he left for a trip to Mexico last weekend.
According to posts made to the dark web found by investigators, the criminal-for-hire was to take the woman and meet several ‘goals’ in order to receive bonus payments from – it is alleged – the Spokane doctor, who was posting under the moniker Scar215 in February, March and April this year.
These goals allegedly included making sure the woman stayed silent about the kidnapping and forcing her to inject heroin twice a day, with photographic evidence.
Dr. Ronald Ilg (pictured) has been charged with hiring someone to kidnap his estranged wife over the ‘dark web’, and to assault a former employee
Ilg’s wife told the FBI that the couple married in 2016, and had a baby together less than two years later. The doctor then met a woman on the internet whom he ‘invited into the relationship,’ she said.
The wife ‘increasingly became uncomfortable with the relationship,’ and made plans to end their marriage, the criminal complaint says.
It claims that Ilg tried to hire someone to carry out his plot in March and April this year, to make her drop her divorce plans and return home.
Investigators also allege that Ilg attempted to hire someone to break the hands of a different woman – a former employee – also using the dark web and agreeing to pay someone to carry out the attack with the cryptocurrency bitcoin, according to The Spokesman-review.
‘The target should be given a significant beating that is obvious. It should injure both hands significantly or break the hands,’ the posting on the dark web, linked to Ilg by investigators, reads.
The post indicates around $2,000 worth of bitcoin would be placed in escrow to pay for the assault on the former employee.
It is unclear from the court documents if Ilg found someone to take his offer. It is well known that many murder-for-hire schemes on the dark web are scams, according to the Daily Beast.
Ilg denied the allegations during an interview with the FBI, according to The Spokesman-Review, citing court documents.
The so-called dark web is a section of the internet that is encrypted, and can only be accessed using specific software, configurations or authorisation to access.
Instructions for the kidnapping of his estranged wife were included in the posting, with it saying that if the woman’s co-workers or friends questioned the woman’s whereabouts, she ‘could say she has COVID and is quarantined.’
‘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,’ the post under Scar215 says.
‘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 listed.
According to posts made to the dark web found by investigators, the criminal-for-hire was to take the woman and meet several ‘goals’ in order to receive bonus payments from – it is alleged – the Spokane doctor, who was posting under the moniker Scar215
In another post, the user Scar215 wrote: ‘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 also set up a bonus incentive system which would see the kidnapper paid extra sums of money 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 in the post.
The post also assured that $40,000 would be made available in bitcoin to pay for the kidnapping, according to court records seen by The Spokesman-Review.
On April 11, the FBI discovered evidence at Ilg’s home in Otis Orchards of online negotiations to kidnap the woman, inject her with heroin, and force her to drop ‘court proceedings’ against him, The Review reported.
That same day, upon his return from Mexico, Ilg is said to have told the FBI under questioning at the Spokane International Airport that he used a disposable phone to contact the kidnapper-for-hire.
The unnamed woman gave the FBI text messages in which she is shown accusing Ilg of trying to hire someone to carry out a seven-day kidnapping – with a set of harrowing instructions – before he left for a trip to Mexico last weekend
However, he said he disposed of the phone in a pool at a Mexican resort, where he was with another woman.
According to The Review, Ilg also told authorities that he’d attempted to hire a person as a way of committing suicide, so that his assets would transfer to the woman he was on the trip to Mexico with, as opposed to his estranged wife.
The following day, Spokane County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call to Ilg’s home on reports of an assault.
There, he allegedly confessed to the plot in a note discovered by authorities when they found him unconscious from an apparent Xanax overdose, which he survived. He is reported to have been found with a black eye and 46 missing Xanex pills.
‘I f***ed it up. Irreparable f**k up’, he is said to have written in the note. ‘I am about to drift off to sleep. I pray that God forgives me.’ The note was addressed to his estranged wife and the woman he was in Mexico with, according to reports.
The woman, who is said to have been Ilg’s girlfriend, is said to have tried to warn his estranged wife of his plot to kidnap and hurt her by sending him text messages of a conversation she says she had with the doctor.
‘Some strange stuff has happened while we have been here,’ she wrote. ‘I need to talk to you ASAP when we get back.’
Ilg is now behind bars, charged with attempted kidnapping. He was listed in custody of the Spokane County Jail on Friday (April 16) evening.