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Balloon Boy Family Slammed With $42,000 Fine

Dec. 22 2009, Published 7:42 a.m. ET

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It may not be a very merry Christmas for Balloon Boy parents Richard and Mayumi Heene this year - they've just been hit with a $42,000 bill.

The bill is from local, state and federal agencies for the Heenes' October stunt when they claimed their six-year-old son had crawled into a hot air balloon in their back yard and been whisked away into the skies.

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Many watched in horror as news crews scrambled to cover and emergency services were dispatched in the rescue operation. When the balloon finally landed the boy was not inside, he was hidden in the attic at his parents' house. He later said during an interview on national television that the incident was done for a show.

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Richard and Mayumi Heene went on to plead guilty to false reporting to police, a Class 3 misdemeanor. Richard, the mastermind behind the hoax, also pled to charges of attempting to influence a public servant, a Class 4 felony.

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But maybe the Heenes don't need to put their Christmas shopping plans on halt just yet. The Heenes' attorney, David Lane tells, "the amount is in dispute.  At sentencing tomorrow the judge will be informed that the parties are seeking to resolve the disputed amounts."

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"Also Richard will ask that his wife not be given any jail time."

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The Heenes are to be sentenced Wednesday in Larimer County. A judge could determine then what they owe in restitution to the agencies that responded, from police to the National Guard and the Federal Aviation Administration.

"If they've got records to show these are legitimate costs, then we can discuss it," Lane says. "But, first off, these people don't have that kind of money."



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