Balloon Boy Saga Parents Sentenced to Jail and Public Service

Richard and Mayumi Heene were sentenced to jail and public service work, Wednesday, December 23. This was aside from the monetary fines that are already accumulating to $47,000.


The Heenes staged a bogus tragedy last October after making everybody believe that their son Falcon was drifted away in a man-made balloon. When the balloon was caught, the boy was not there and it was discovered that he was at home all those times. The couple had staged the stunt to attract a potential reality television show.

Richard is to serve 90 days in jail starting January 11, with 60 days on a work release, that is, to work as a construction contractor during the day, then spend the night in jail. He must also write a letter of apology to all the community and public service agencies that had wasted time and effort in helping the couple “rescue” their son.

Mayumi, will report to jail twice a week, return home at night and serve a supervised public service work. She will start her sentence after Richard has served his sentence so that at least one of them will be staying with their children.

The couple was also put in probation for four years banning them from accepting any financial aids and money that they might have earned for any business ventures related to the balloon boy saga like book deals or any media ventures.

Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is seeking the maximum penalty of $11,000 for aviation problems that the incident has created. Northbound flights from the Denver International Airport were halted and planes in flight were diverted to avoid the runaway balloon. This is a separate fine from the $47,000.