Richard Heene, the father of the boy who was allegedly trapped inside the helium balloon that was in flight for two hours before crash-landing 40 miles from home, is now under investigation for fabricating the entire event, according to a Wall Street Journal article.
The balloon stunt was allegedly planned to help the family land a reality television show – the family has already appeared on the TV series Wife Swap.
Colorado officials are planning to press criminal charges against the boy’s parents. Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden confirmed that after investigation, the balloon situation is believed to be a hoax – though the family has denied it.
Among the potential charges the Heenes have coming their way are two felony charges – attempt to influence a public servant and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The parents could face up to six years in jail and over $500,000 in fines, the Wall Street Journal reported.
In an interview with Larry King, Falcon Heene – the “balloon boy” – said his parents told him to hide. The boy was also recorded saying, “You guys said that, um, we did this for the show.”