Dentons

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What do dancing hamsters have to do with insurance fraud?

By Corinne Carr

Insurance fraud is not usually a laughing matter, but one cannot help but chuckle at the news that a California man, Leroy Barnes, was in fact receiving disability insurance payments for thousands of dollars while at the same time showing off his dance moves as one the dancing hamsters in the famous Kia commercials. In June 2010, Barnes said he was hit by a piece of ceiling during a sound check. Soon after, he began collecting disability and workers compensation checks, earning more than $51,000 (£30,000) between September 2010 and September 2011. During this same period, Barnes continued to bust his moves as a Kia hamster and tour as a back-up dancer for Madonna and other performers.

The California Department of Insurance is not exactly laughing as workers compensation fraud in the state of California costs the system almost $400m a year…

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