Former Long Beach football standout pleads guilty in inside-job bank heist

A Long Beach man admitted today to helping his girlfriend rob the bank where she worked.

Chandler Leniu, 22, pleaded guilty in Los Angeles to conspiracy to commit bank theft, a felony that carries a possible prison sentence of up to five years.

Leniu is a former Washington State University football player who had starred at St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower, the Daily Breeze reported.

Chandler Leniu.

Chandler Leniu. Photo courtesy Torrance police.

He and his girlfriend stole $52,900 from Opus Bank in Torrance on Oct. 2, 2017, according to federal prosecutors

Leniu’s girlfriend, Marlene Wickham, 22, also of Long Beach—who worked as a teller at the bank—pleaded guilty last year to one federal count each of conspiracy and bank theft, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

She is expected to be sentenced on May 16.

Marlene Wickham

Marlene Wickham. Photo courtesy Torrance police.

Police at the time of the robbery said Leniu allegedly passed a note to the teller demanding money and then fled with the cash. It was later determined that the teller was actually Leniu’s girlfriend.

Prosecutors said that $32,470 has been recovered and returned to the bank. Leniu is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 24.

According to his plea agreement, Leniu will pay restitution of about $20,000.

Editor’s note: This story was updated with Leniu entering the plea.

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