Kia's 'dancing hamster' accused of disability benefit fraud


Kia dancing hamster

A man who starred as one of the dancing hamsters in adverts for the new Kia Soul is being investigated for disability fraud.

Leroy Barnes, 27, from Los Angeles, has been accused of benefit fraud after allegedly working while claiming workers compensations benefits.

Mr Barnes received more than $51,000 in benefits between September 2010 and September 2011 – he was arrested last month and is now currently out on bail.

While employed as a dancer for John Cossette Productions, Mr Barnes suffered an accident in which a piece of ceiling fell on top of him during a sound check.

Police found evidence showing Mr Barnes to be working while receiving the disability benefit for this injury, despite him telling doctors that he was unable to work.

Mr Barnes performed in at least one of the Kia commercials as a dancing hamster while on disability, the Californian Department for Insurance alleges.

Not only did Mr Barnes film the Kia advert while claiming, he was also in a rap group, and also performed with high-profile stars such as Madonna, Chris Brown and Kelly Rowland, working under the alias 'Hypnosis' as a backing dancer.

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones told the Daily Mail: "Fraudulently collecting disability benefits is not only illegal, it disrespects legitimately injured Californians who are unable to work."

Click play below to watch Barnes strut his stuff as a hamster in the aforementioned Kia advert.

Author: Danielle Bagnall