JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Multiple law enforcement and legal sources tell Action News Jax Investigative Reporter Ben Becker, the father of University of Florida football legend and current ESPN broadcaster, Tim Tebow, is a victim of extortion.
According to a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office arrest warrant, Laura Alves Marciano, 37, (aka Cafiero, Poposki) and Diego Alves Marciano Kosiniuk, 35, of Palm Coast were arrested as part of an undercover sting operation after trying to extort $120,000 from a man with the initials R.T. Sources tell Becker, R.T. is Robert Tebow, 75.
A source who can only speak on the condition of anonymity said the investigation is being handled by the JSO Integrity/Special Investigations Unit which works criminal cases against police and corrections officers along with those involving public figures and city employees.
Action News Jax is not revealing the nature of Tebow’s medical condition to protect his privacy but is providing the police narrative with redactions.
According to the warrant obtained by Becker “In the spring of 2022, the victim (R.T.) visited a doctor’s office within Duval County to inquire about receiving treatment for [Action News Jax redaction]. After waiting for an extended period of time and not being seen, the victim left the office. A few months later the victim was contacted by Suspect Laura Cafiero, who explained that she had a new treatment for [Action News Jax redaction] and offered to come to the victim’s residence for a demonstration. Cafiero arrived at the victim’s residence along with Suspect Diego Alves Marciano Kosiniuk, who waited outside during the treatment. After performing the treatment, both suspects left the victim’s residence.
“On June 9, 2022, the suspects returned, and Cafiero performed another treatment. Cafiero then informed the victim that if he wished to continue, he would need to pay $7,500 which would include regular treatments for the year. The victim agreed and his wife (P.T.), who was present for both treatments, gave Cafiero a personal check for the amount.”
(P.T.) are the same initials of Robert Tebow’s wife, Pamela Tebow.
“Over the next several months the victim attempted to contact Cafiero, but she continued to give excuses as to why she could not meet with the victim. During their text message conversations, the victim began asking what he should do until his next treatment and Cafiero instructed him to [State Attorney’s Office redaction]. These messages continued and in late September 2022, the victim stated Cafiero told him to send her videos [State Attorney’s Office redaction] that she could see if there was any progress. The victim agreed and over the following days sent several videos [State Attorney’s Office redaction]. The victim advised after sending the videos he did not hear back from Cafiero until on October 25, 2022, when Diego Alves Marciano Kosiniuk contacted him and began threatening that if the victim did not pay him $120,000, he would release the videos the victim sent. The victim advised he pled with the suspect who eventually agreed to lower the amount and texted him bank account and routing numbers. The victim did not send the money and after speaking with friends, contacted the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
“Your affiant was assigned to investigate the incident and with the assistance of [Undercover redaction] began communicating with the suspects via phone. [Undercover redaction] posed as the victim’s son and started negotiating with Diego Alves Marciano Kosiniuk about deleting the videos of the victim. During the conversation, the suspect was demanding $120,000 but agreed to accept $21,615 for the videos. [Undercover redaction] then spoke with Cafiero who also agreed to accept payment for deleting the videos. Ultimately the suspects called back and declined to meet stating that they were going to erase the videos. Your affiant’s investigation confirmed that the banking information given to the victim belonged to Cafiero, along with the phone number that called the victim. The victim’s wife also positively identified the suspects through photographs.”
A source told Becker the undercover investigator who posed as a son of Robert Tebow did not identify himself as Tim Tebow, who is one of three brothers.
Flagler County sheriff deputies arrested the couple under JSO’s warrant at their Palm Coast home at approximately 3:52 a.m. on Feb. 24, 2023.
Becker reviewed approximately 30 minutes of body camera video which shows both suspects suggested they were unaware of the nature of the arrests.
The couple was taken without incident to the Flagler County Inmate Facility on charges of extortion, while Alves-Marciano faces an additional charge of unlicensed practices of a health care professional. A judge set her bond at $103,003 while Marciano-Kosiniuk’s is $100,000. The crime of extortion is a second-degree felony in Florida and is punishable by up to 15 years in prison, 15 years of probation, and a $10,000 fine.
Becker discovered during a LinkedIn search that Alves-Marciano, under her previous married name of Poposki, claims she owns a business called L&M Services - although Becker could not find any record of it. It also states she attended Daytona State College and received an Associate Degree in “Medicine” and worked in billing at Florida Hospital Flagler (Now AdventHealth Palm Coast) from 2012-14.
“There is a relationship initiated by the con artist,” said Action News Jax Law and Safety Expert Dale Carson. “There’s a level of trust involved that trust vaporizes ultimately. You believe them. You want to believe them. You may even need to believe them because of your own position and how you view the world. So, they use that against you, and they are very effective at it.”
Robert Tebow is the founder and ministry leader of the Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association based in Jacksonville. Tebow, 35, spoke on Feb. 16 at a Vero Beach Prayer Breakfast and according to TCPALM.COM talked about the important role his father played in his life, serving as a role model for his faith.
“One of the reasons my dad is one of my biggest heroes is because I got to watch him under so many extreme situations stand up and share the love of Jesus Christ,” said Tebow. “Just down the road in Jacksonville, Florida, we’d go to a restaurant, and he would stand up and we would pray before we’d eat. He was so bold; he is so bold, and I am not. To be bold means to put it all on the line to do whatever is necessary and my dad has been willing to do that for the sake of the gospel for so many years.”
Tebow graduated from Nease High School in Ponte Vedra and went on to an iconic career at UF where he led the Gators to national titles in 2006 and 2008 along with winning the Heisman Trophy in 2007. The quarterback then spent three seasons in the NFL from 2010-12 before attempting a brief comeback as a Tight End with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2021. Tebow also played in the New York Mets minor league baseball system for five seasons from 2016-21. Tebow is currently an ESPN college football analyst and leads the Tim Tebow Foundation which assists children with life-threatening illnesses in more than 70 countries throughout the world. Tebow married Demi-Leigh Tebow in 2020, a South African model and beauty queen who was crowned Miss Universe in 2017.
Becker made numerous attempts to get a comment from the suspects, Robert Tebow, the Tim Tebow Foundation and a Tebow business associate but did not receive a response.
If you are a victim of extortion or blackmail, contact JSO at 904-630-0500. In addition, there are resources for crime victims on the Florida Attorney General website.