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Dancing Kia Hamster Actor Pleads To Disability Fraud

Prosecutors said he received disability insurance and claimed to be unemployed while dancing for the Kia car commercials.

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The actor who played one of the dancing hamsters in Kia commercials pleaded no contest Thursday to defrauding his disability insurance of thousands of dollars.

Leroy Barnes, 29, was accused of receiving state disability benefits and claiming to be unemployed while he was busting hip-hop dance moves for the Kia commercials.

Barnes — who has also worked as a backup dancer for the likes of Madonna ad Chris Brown — allegedly claimed that he had been injured in 2010 by a falling piece of ceiling during a theatrical production, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Insurance told the Los Angeles Times.

On Thursday, Barnes was ordered by a judge to pay more than $24,000 in restitution and sentenced to 90 days of electronic monitoring after pleading no contest to one count each of insurance fraud and false statements regarding aid. He was also ordered to perform 400 hours of community service, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

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Claudia Rosenbaum is an entertainment reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Claudia Rosenbaum at claudia.rosenbaum@buzzfeed.com.

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