A Long Beach Township woman who used her company's money for a down payment on her new vehicle and to pay credit card bills was found guilty Friday of second-degree computer theft and third-degree theft.

Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato said Friday 56-year-old Gina Harle's five-week trial concluded and she is in the Ocean County Jail, in Toms River, while awaiting sentencing.

An investigation of Harle, of the Loveladies section of the township, began in late 2007 when the owners of Hot Spring Spas Ltd. in Ship Bottom contacted the Ship Bottom Police Department to report suspected thefts.  

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In February 2009, Harle, who worked as a bookkeeper for the business, was arrested at her home on Panorama South Drive. At the time, authorities said she stole $95,000 from the company. Harle was released shortly after her arrest after posting $50,000 bail, authorities said at the time.

Harle was indicted on the charges in March 2010, after Senior Assistant Prosecutor Martin Anton and Assistant Prosecutor Peter Ryan began working on the case.  

This week, a jury found that between March 2004 and August 2007, Harle had inappropriately used the Hot Springs Spa credit card to pay her own credit card bills, along with a $26,000 down payment on her Volvo, Coronato said.   

During the trial, Anton and Ryan presented to a jury that between June 2006 and July 2007, Harle accessed a computer or computer network for the purpose of paying more than $6,000 in her personal online bills with company money.

Harle is scheduled to be sentenced on July 26 and could face as long as 10 years in prison and approximately $53,000 in restitution to Hot Spring Spas Ltd.

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Senior copy editor for the Press of Atlantic City. Have worked as a reporter, copy editor and news editor with the paper since 1985. A graduate of the University of Delaware.

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