A former baby doctor – who was reportedly involved in a twisted plot to forcefully prevent his estranged wife from divorcing him – pled guilty to federal charges on Wednesday.
Ronald Craig Ilg, a 55-year-old former neonatal doctor in Spokane, Washington, pled guilty to transmitting threats in interstate commerce in federal court. The felony has a maximum sentence of 10 years, but Ilg's legal team made a plea agreement to a sentencing range of 60 to 96 months.
Ilg was supposed to go on trial next month and was initially facing eight federal charges, including cyberstalking, attempted kidnapping, and tampering with a witness, according to KLXY.
Ilg allegedly used the dark web to attempt to hire multiple hit men to inflict pain on his estranged wife and a colleague.
In February 2021, Ilg purportedly utilized the dark web to try to hire a hit man to injure a former professional colleague.
"According to prosecutors, Ilg, the former chief medical director of a multistate neonatology management group, first tried to orchestrate an assault on a former colleague who he believed was involved in an internal workplace investigation against him," the Daily Beast reported. "The messages obtained by the government asked the hitman to deliver a 'significant beating' that would 'injure both hands significantly or break the hands.' He allegedly wired the service $2,000 in bitcoin as compensation."
Ilg told the hit man, "I would like to see evidence that it happened. If this goes well, I have another, more complicated job [for an] entirely different target with entirely different objectives."
The other "target" was allegedly his estranged wife. Ilg reportedly wanted to hire a hit man to kidnap the mother of his child, torture her, inject her with drugs, and blackmail her.
According to court documents, Ilg instructed the hired hit man to "stop all court proceedings" in their divorce that were pending at the time.
"Plant drugs in her home and used needles a day or so after collecting her," Ilg purportedly wrote. "So, if people start looking for her while she is detained, they will find them."
The baby doctor allegedly said, "Inject her with heroin 2 times per day. Teach her to inject herself. Send pics and videos of her injecting herself for bribery later."
Ilg allegedly furnished the hit man with his wife's complete schedule.
"By early April, Scar215 had reached out to yet another dark-web site, hoping to have his request completed by the second weekend of the month," the Daily Beast reported. "He told the site he had put $5,000 in bitcoin for them in escrow, and that another $10,000 would be coming to them the next day. He promised an extra $40,000 if all of his goals were achieved in the allotted time frame."
On April 8, 2021, the day before the alleged kidnapping plot was expected to happen, Ilg took a vacation in Mexico with his mistress.
The mistress – identified in court documents as "Witness 2" – and Ilg's wife – identified in court documents as "Victim 2" – allegedly knew each other from a prior relationship with the baby doctor.
"Ilg’s wife had told investigators that she and Ilg married in 2016, and after the birth of their child in May 2018, Ilg 'located Witness 1 on the internet and invited her into the relationship with Ilg and Victim 2,'" Law & Crime reported. "As time passed, Victim 2 increasingly became uncomfortable with the relationship," the criminal complaint against Ilg says. However, although Ilg and his wife were involved in 'contentious divorce proceedings,' she and the witness 'maintained communication with each other regarding Ilg throughout the relationship.'"
On the first day of the vacation, Ilg's girlfriend notified the estranged wife, "Some strange stuff has happened while we have been here[.] I need to talk to you asap [sic] when we get back[.]”
The girlfriend found out that Ilg had a "burner" phone. According to court documents, she threw his phone into the hotel pool because she thought he had the phone so he could talk to other women. A fight ensued, according to the girlfriend. FBI special agent and key witness Ryan Butler testified that he heard audio recordings of Ilg allegedly assaulting her.
"Butler said in the tapes, he can hear her beg him to stop hurting her, then she struggles to breathe for several minutes," KREM reported.
After the fight, the girlfriend claimed that Ilg forced her to sign a contract requiring her to "unconditionally accept what [Ilg] would like to do."
The document was later presented in a court hearing. The contract appeared to be stamped with both of their fingerprints in blood.
Upon his return from the Mexico vacation on April 11, FBI agents interrogated Ilg. The FBI had been allegedly tipped off about Ilg's dark web negotiations by BBC journalists investigating murder-for-hire services on the dark web.
Ilg reportedly informed FBI agents that he arranged the "hit" on himself. The FBI released him.
The next day, Ilg was reportedly found unconscious on his kitchen floor in an apparent suicide attempt when he ingested 46 Xanax pills.
The girlfriend would later tell FBI agents that she witnessed Ilg using the dark web. When confronted, Ilg told her that he was using it for gambling. However, she said that Ilg wasn't a gambler based on a previous trip to Las Vegas.
The Department of Justice stated, "Ilg sent a letter to a key witness against him – begging the witness to marry him so he could control whether she testified. He also offered to pay tuition for the witness’s children to attend Gonzaga Preparatory School and St. Aloysius Catholic School in Spokane, Washington. Ilg even directed the witness to destroy evidence by burning Ilg’s letter."
According to court documents, Ilg used the username of “Scar215” and the password “Mufassa$." The names may have a connection to the Disney animated movie "The Lion King."
The Spokane Spokesman-Review noted, "Investigators discovered a password for the 'Scar215' account – a play on the villainous character’s brother, Mufasa, in 'The Lion King' film – in Ilg’s biometrically locked safe at his home in Otis Orchards, authorities said. They said the password and screen name were consistent with Ilg’s 'affinity for lions.'"
Authorities said Ilg transferred more than $60,000 in cryptocurrency to alleged hit men on the dark web.
Ilg told the judge on Wednesday, "Your honor, I was a broken man. I was broken and I contacted different websites on the dark web to not only injure one of my partners, but also kidnap my wife."
Spokane doctor accused of hiring hitman to kidnap, assault estranged wife pleads guilty www.youtube.com