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Brooklyn man sentenced to life in prison for 2010 murder of government witness

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A Brooklyn man will spend the rest of his life in prison after murdering a woman to cover up his check fraud scheme.(DanHenson1 / Getty Images)

A Brooklyn man will spend the rest of his life in prison after murdering a woman to cover up his check fraud scheme.(DanHenson1 / Getty Images)

BROOKLYN — A Brooklyn man was sentenced to life in prison Thursday for the 2010 murder of a woman who could have tied him to a counterfeit check fraud ring.

Naquan Reyes, 31, paid someone to kill Nicole Thompson so she couldn’t finger him for fraud, prosecutors said.

Over a period of six years, Reyes secured employment at more than half a dozen banks and used his work experience to create counterfeit checks, prosecutors said. He also recruited others to deposit those checks, and then withdraw the money before the banks realized the checks were bad.

Thompson, 24, was one of his recruits. Police arrested her in 2010, about two years after Reyes started his scheme, prosecutors said. Reyes learned she planned to cooperate with police and hired someone to murder her. Reyes then drove her body to Maryland. Her body was found in a dumpster, duct taped and wrapped in garbage bags, on July 24, 2010.

“It was either me or her,” Reyes said, according to prosecutors.

Police arrested Reyes in 2014. He pled guilty last year.

“The murder of Nicole Thompson was the result of a truly shocking combination of greed and violence,” said then U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch. “We hope her family can take some measure of solace in knowing that the individual who is responsible for their daughter’s murder has been brought to justice.”