SPOKANE, Wash. - A judge sentenced former surgeon Ronald Ilg to eight years in federal prison, a $100,000 fine, $25,000 in restitution and three years of supervised release on Tuesday.
All stemming from 2021 when the FBI started investigating Ilg for paying online hitmen to kidnap his estranged wife and assault his former coworker.
District attorneys said the victims' strength in court really helped their case against Ilg.
"It really is extraordinary that these victims stood up in court today and said no, you need to be held accountable for what you've done," said United States Attorney Vanessa Waldref.
"They were able to stand up in court, describe how this affected them," said Assistant United States Attorney Richard Barker. "How it really ruined their lives, and not just their lives, their family's lives."
Court documents say Ilg paid hitmen 60 thousand dollars in bitcoin, but the hitmen weren't real. That's when the FBI's investigation began.
After he was arrested, attorneys say Ilg tried to bribe a witness to keep her from testifying against him. They say he sent her a letter offering to send her children to expensive schools if she protected him.
Barker said because that witness worked with law enforcement, it strengthened their case against him.
"So impressed that this victim instead of burning that letter instead of covering that testimony," said Barker. "Instead of trying to protect this person she gave that to the FBI and we're able to use that to make our case even stronger against Mr. Ilg."
Barker said having victims willing to work with law enforcement can help tip the scales of justice.
"For people who feel like it's hard to speak up and it's hard to speak out," said Barker. "It's hard to cooperate with law-enforcement. When they do, we're going to be here to do our best to bring and get justice on the victims' behalf, and make sure that their voices are truly heard."