One of Kia’s Dancing Hamsters Arrested for Insurance Fraud

June 6, 2014

A California man known as one of the dancing hamsters in Kia commercials, was arrested on insurance fraud charges related to his alleged fraudulent collection of state disability insurance benefits. Leroy Barnes is suspected of deceiving his doctors about his employment status while he receiving disability benefits.

In June 2010 while employed as a dancer for John Cossette Productions Barnes was struck by a piece of ceiling that fell on him during a sound check. Barnes received state disability insurance benefits from September 2010 to September 2011, totaling more than $51,000. Barnes stated that he was not employed during the year he received state disability insurance. Detectives discovered evidence that Barnes was actually working while collecting disability benefits.

While receiving disability benefits, Barnes starred in a Kia car commercial playing the role of a dancing hamster. He also performed in a rap group called The Rej3ctz, under the alias MoWii, assisted in recording the song Cat Daddy, and worked as a backup dancer for Madonna, Kelly Rowland, and Chris Brown under the name Hypnosis.

Source: California Department of Insurance

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