Sex, Bitcoin and the Dark Web: Spokane doctor accused of trying to hire hitman to kidnap, assault women

Ronald Ilg

SPOKANE, Wash. — In a court case that reads more like a suspense novel, a Spokane doctor faces attempted kidnapping charges for trying to hire a hitman to assault one woman and kidnap and extort another.

Ronald Craig Ilg is charged in federal court with attempted kidnapping. He’s being held in the Spokane County Jail pending a detention hearing Wednesday afternoon.

According to the court documents, Ilg’s alleged crimes were brought to light by an international news organization, working on a series about murder-for-hire services on the dark web. Specifically, they were investigating how people paid for those services using cryptocurrency.

Two FBI agents spoke with the journalists, who passed on information about a man named Ronald Craig Ilg, who was “utilizing the moniker ‘Scar215’ and communicating with various administrators/representatives from dark-web sites to hire someone to harm two individuals in Spokane.”

Ilg is a Spokane neonatologist who has worked with several local hospitals and the organization Maddie’s Place.

The court documents say the news organization obtained the communications “which describe ongoing negotiations between Scar215 and certain dark web monikers to assault one victim and to kidnap, assault and extort a second victim, in exchange for cryptocurrency payment.”

The targets are only identified by their initials in court documents.

According to the documents, in April 2020, Scar215 paid “$1,984.45 in Bitcoin to an escrow account for someone from DARK WEBSITE #1 to physically assault VICTIM 1 by breaking her hands.” In later messages, he shared the victim’s name and address and also sent a picture of her.

In late March 2021 and early April 2021, investigators say Scar215 “sought to hire a hitman to physically kidnap, drug and assault victim 2” who court documents say was Ilg’s estranged wife.

“These messages identify VICTIM 2 by name, address, work location, and discuss violent acts against VICTIM 2, her father and her pet dog,” according to court documents.

The transcript of that message reads:

Scar215: 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.

Scar215: The target destroyed two families and walked away as if she
did nothing. I want the target kidnapped for 7 days. While being held,
she will be given injections of heroin at least two times per day. She
will be taught to do it herself and pics and videos of her doing on her
own should be collected. Also, while being held, all means necessary
will be done to get the following goals with in 2 weeks of her release.
First, cancel all court proceedings immediately. Second, return to the
chaos she left with her husband and the 3rd party she invited into the
house, and third she will tell absolutely no one about her kidnapping
and goals. 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. This needs to be done in two weeks.

According to court documents, Scar215 offered a bonus if certain goals were achieved.

In another message printed in the court documents, Scar215 said the hitman would get an extra bonus if the victim “asked [her husband] to return home and [having sex with him] at least three times within the 2 week time frame.”

Scar215 writes “it is important to note that her husband does NOT know this is happening.”

Again, Scar215 is identified in court documents as Ilg, the victim’s estranged husband.

After sending those messages, the FBI said Ilg transferred thousands of dollars of Bitcoin into an account with the escrow service.

In the court documents, this message:

Scar215 (timestamp 04-08-21 at 00:19:26): Please have your man begin this
weekend and send a timeline AND pics and videos the day he starts as
verification. I will do my best to answer any questions in a timely manner.

Once the FBI received the messages, they went about trying to identify Scar215. Through a service called Coinbase.com, they obtained records of the financial transactions. The account in question was linked to a Coinbase account under the name of Ron Ilg. “The account also is associated with Ilg’s known phone number, email address and security number.”

On April 11th, the FBI searched Ilg’s home on East Uhlig Road.

According to court documents, agents found a locked safe inside the home “which contained, among other things, a sticky note with the moniker ‘Scar215’ and an apparent password, written immediately below Scar215.”

Using that name and password, the FBI was able to access the messages that requested the kidnapping and extortion.

The court documents contain screenshots of the messages.

The documents also contain text messages sent between Ilg and a witness, in which they reference the plan to use bitcoin to hire someone to kill the victim.

In an interview with the FBI, the victim said she married Ilg in 2016 and they have a child together. She said Ilg invited the witness in the case to join their relationship in 2018. As time passed, the victim became uncomfortable with the relationship. They’ve now entered into a contentious divorce.

The victim also provided text messages from another woman, with whom “Ilg discussed a ‘kidnapping scenario’ as some part of sexual fantasy,” according to court documents.

The FBI also spoke with the first victim in the case, the one whose hands were to be broken. She said they previously worked together and she believed Ilg had a grudge against her for a complaint that was filed against him.

According to court documents, Ilg “admitted to using the dark web to hire a hitman” and acknowledged using the moniker Scar215. He said 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 witness in the case “after she suspected Ilg of using the phone to talk to other women.”

“Ilg also admitted to transferring cryptocurrency from his account with Coinbase.com to sites on the dark web related to the hitman,” investigators wrote.

He didn’t admit hiring someone to harm the victims,  though. He said he was actually hiring the hitman to kill him, as a way of committing suicide.

The day after that interview, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office called the FBI and said Ilg tried to kill himself. Investigators located Ilg lying unconscious on the floor and a medication sheet with 46 missing Xanax pills. They also found a suicide note next to a business card for the FBI special agent. The note contained messages for both the witness and the victim.

In the message to his estranged wife, the note said “You mocked my love. Why??”

He also asked the victim to share half of what his will would leave to her with the witness.

If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison. He’s hired high-profile Spokane attorney Carl Oreskovich to defend him. They’ll argue for his release at a detention hearing Wednesday.

Federal prosecutors want Ilg held in jail until his trial, saying he’s a high risk to leave the area.