Update: Dancing Hamster Workers’ Compensation Scandal

KIA dancing hamster actor pleads no contest to felony insurance fraud for working and receiving disability benefits.

We blogged about this crazy news story in 2014 regarding a dancing hamster from the popular KIA commercials. Leroy Barnes, a resident of Los Angeles, was accused of claiming disability benefits while working as a backup dancer.

It is now being reported by TMZ that Barnes pled no contest to felony insurance fraud. He has been sentenced to 90 days of electronic monitoring and 400 hours of community service. He must also repay $24k to the State of California.

The dancing hamster case is now closed. Unfortunately, sensationalist headlines get all of the attention and give people the wrong impression. Don’t believe the hype!

Accident Fund, one of the largest workers’ compensation insurance companies, says actual fraud occurs in less than 4% of claims. Most people get benefits for a short period of time and then return to their jobs.

Tools already exist to stop fraud in the workers’ compensation systems. Insurance companies routinely send claimants to medical examinations with independent doctors. This quickly exposes individuals who lie about their medical condition or malinger.

Insurance companies also use private investigators to perform activity checks when fraud is suspected. Catching the dancing hamster shows the system actually works.

Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation today.

Related information:

Don’t believe the hype when it comes to workers compensation reform

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by Joe Gratz.

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