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Balloon Boy Parents Get Balloon Back

By Kamika Dunlap on May 17, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Richard Heene, the father responsible for the balloon boy hoax, will get his runaway balloon back after all.

The runaway UFO-like balloon that was said to be carrying his 6-year-old boy, Falcon is back in the hands of the parents who pleaded guilty to the hoax, the Associated Press reports.

According to authorities, the Heenes staged the hoax to try to get attention for a reality television show.

Court records also indicate the Heenes were in financial trouble and working with a production company to create a reality television show based on their lives, as previously discussed.

Richard Heene requested to measure the balloon to make sure it was the same one he launched on Oct. 15, the Larimer County Sheriff's office said.

As previously discussed, the balloon boy incident was captured on national television as the balloon traveled nearly 50 miles at an altitude of around 8,000 feet.

Since then, the Heenes have performed their court ordered duties.

Heene completed a 90-day jail sentence for his plea of falsely influencing authorities. His wife, Mayumi, was sentenced to 10 weekends working at nonprofits for filing a false report.

As previously discussed, the couple is also on the hook to pay $36,000 in legal restitution to authorities who responded to the incident.

Prosecutors reduced the original $48,000 sought, agreeing to $36,000 and dropped the sheriff's request for investigative costs. Damage to a farmer's wheat crop where the balloon landed has not been calculated, according to the Associated Press.

Richard Heene also faces an $11,000 civil penalty from the Federal Aviation Administration. The balloon briefly shut down a runway at Denver International Airport.

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