'Kia Hamster' Dancer Leroy Barnes Charged With Disability Fraud In Los Angeles

06/05/2014 02:23 am ET | Updated Jun 05, 2014

The actor who portrays one of the dancing hamsters in a series of Kia car commercials has been arrested and charged with disability fraud.

Leroy Barnes, 27, collected more than $51,000 in disability benefits over the course of a year starting in September 2010 after being injured while working as a dancer for John Cossette Productions, the California Department of Insurance said in a news release. He was reportedly hurt during a soundcheck when a piece of ceiling fell on him in June 2010.

But the agency says Barnes was working while he collected these benefits. His work included dancing as a hamster in a Kia car commercial.

In addition, he's accused of performing under the alias MoWii in a rap group called The Rej3ctz, assisting in recording the song "Cat Daddy," and working as a backup dancer for Madonna, Kelly Rowland, and Chris Brown under the name Hypnosis while collecting disability.

"Fraudulently collecting disability benefits is not only illegal, it disrespects legitimately injured Californians who are unable to work," Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said in the release.

CBS News reports that Barnes was arrested in Los Angeles on March 20, 2014, during a traffic stop and released the following day on $50,000 bail.

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