A young woman was sentenced today to probation for helping her then-boyfriend stage a robbery at the Torrance bank where she worked.
Marlene Wickham, 22, was also ordered by U.S. District Judge Fernando M. Olguin to pay a share of $20,000 in restitution to Opus Bank. The former Long Beach resident pleaded guilty last year to federal counts of conspiracy and bank theft.
“I would like to apologize for being in this courtroom,” Wickham told the judge. “And from here on out, I will do everything I can not to end up back here.”
Wickham’s attorney, Humberto Diaz, told the court that his client and her family have relocated out of Southern California in order to “get a fresh start.”
Wickham’s ex-boyfriend, Chandler Leniu, also 22 and a resident of Long Beach, pleaded guilty last month in Los Angeles federal court to conspiracy to commit bank theft and agreed to pay a share of the restitution.
Nearly $53,000 was stolen from the bank on Oct. 2, 2017. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, $32,470 has been recovered and returned to the bank.
Leniu, who is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 24, admitted that he passed a note to Wickham at her teller station demanding money and then fled with the cash. It was determined within a few days that the teller was actually Leniu’s girlfriend.
Support our journalism.
Hyperlocal news is an essential force in our democracy, but it costs money to keep an organization like this one alive, and we can’t rely on advertiser support alone. That’s why we’re asking readers like you to support our independent, fact-based journalism. We know you like it—that’s why you’re here. Help us keep hyperlocal news alive in Long Beach.