Kia Dancing Hamster Accused in Workers’ Comp Fraud Case
by Kennedy Ryan
A 27-year-old Los Angeles man known as one of the dancing hamsters in a series of Kia car commercials was arrested for alleged collecting state disability insurance benefits under false pretenses, state insurance officials announced Wednesday.
Leroy Barnes was accused of deceiving his doctors about his employment status while he receiving disability benefits. (Credit: Kia Motors)
Leroy Barnes was accused of deceiving his doctors about his employment status while he received disability benefits, according to Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.
“Fraudulently collecting disability benefits is not only illegal, it disrespects legitimately injured Californians who are unable to work,” Jones said in a statement.
Barnes was struck by a piece of ceiling during a sound check in 2010 at a West Los Angeles studio while working as a dancer for John Cossette Productions, state officials said.
From September 2010 to September 2011 Barnes received state disability insurance benefits totaling more than $51,000, the statement read.
Barnes allegedly stating falsely that he was not employed during the year he received state disability insurance.
It was during this period of time that investigators said Barnes starred in a Kia car commercial playing the role of a dancing hamster.
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