Doctor Charged in Diabolical Hitman Plot May Change Plea

·4 min read
LinkedIn
LinkedIn

The baby doctor accused of trying hire hitmen on the dark web to assault a former coworker and kidnap and torture his ex-wife may be trying to strike a deal with the government.

Court records show a change of plea hearing is scheduled for next Wednesday in the case of Dr. Ronald Ilg, a Spokane, Washington, neonatologist who allegedly put aside $50,000 to orchestrate a devious hit on his estranged spouse.

Ilg, 55, has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted kidnapping, cyberstalking, witness tampering, and more. His attorney previously told The Daily Beast that any allegation that he had stalked or injured his ex-wife was “just frankly not true.”

But during a teleconference last week, that attorney, Carl Oreskovtich, asked whether the court would be available in the near future if the prosecution and defense reached an agreement. A change of plea hearing was scheduled less than a week later.

Ilg’s attorneys did not respond to a request for comment. The U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment.

Hitmen, Bunkers & Bondage: Inside the Case of Washington Baby Doctor Ronald Ilg

Ilg was a successful physician who served as chief medical director of a multistate neonatology group until he was fired from his role in December 2020 after a contentious internal investigation. Two months later, prosecutors say, someone using the name “Scar215'' contacted a dark website that claimed to offer hitmen for hire and requested someone give a “significant beating” to one of Ilg’s former coworkers. (The request specified that the assailant should “injure both hands significantly or break the hands.”)

Shortly thereafter, Scar215 made another request, this one pertaining to Ilg’s wife, who was in the process of divorcing him. The user asked a hitman to kidnap the woman, hold her hostage, inject her with heroin twice daily, and videotape her injecting herself with the drug—”for bribery later.” Scar215 specified that the woman should be released only if she agreed to return to her husband, drop all court proceedings against him, and resume being physically intimate with him. He claimed to have put $5,000 in bitcoin in escrow and promised to send another $50,000 by the time the job was done.

Law enforcement first heard of the alleged plan through British journalists who stumbled across Scar215 while investigating the dark websites. The FBI was then able to trace all the bitcoin transactions associated with “Scar215” to a cryptocurrency exchange account in the name of Ron Ilg. A search of Ilg’s home later turned up a locked biometric safe containing a handwritten note with the Scar215 username and the password to the dark website accounts. They also found an underground bunker similar to ones his mistress claimed he had locked her inside as “punishment.” He was arrested April 16, 2021.

Ilg allegedly admitted in an FBI interview to using the dark websites to hire hitmen, but claimed he wanted to deploy them on himself in a suicide by hitman. (His defense claims the entire interview should be inadmissible because he was not read his Miranda rights.) Ilg also claimed the bunker punishment was part of a consensual BDSM relationship he engaged in with his mistress. Oreskovtich previously told The Daily Beast the messages requesting a hit on Ilg’s wife may have been faked, and his attorneys argued in court that there was no way to prove Ilg was the one who sent them.

Ilg has been imprisoned for more than a year pending trial, and has suffered a series of setbacks, including multiple denied petitions for release. Last month, his attorneys attempted to have the dark web evidence—including images of the websites he allegedly used, messages exchanged between “Scar215” and the administrators of the sites, and a transcript of the messages provided by the journalists—excluded at trial. The judge ruled all but the transcripts could be admitted, and reserved ruling on those for a later date.

Ilg was also ordered to suspend contact with his mistress, who gave evidence against him to the FBI. Still, he allegedly sent the woman a letter from jail begging her to marry him so she wouldn’t have to testify against him. He also offered to pay for her children’s schooling if she returned to their relationship, according to prosecutors. Ilg claims the mistress was already wearing an engagement ring and had “actively planned their wedding on Etsy” when he was arrested.

The change of plea hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here

Get the Daily Beast's biggest scoops and scandals delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now.

Stay informed and gain unlimited access to the Daily Beast's unmatched reporting. Subscribe now.