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Mayumi Heene, wife of Richard Heene and mother of "Balloon Boy" Falcon Heene, has confessed to lying to authorities and that the now-infamous October 15 incident was "intentional as a hoax," according to the Fort Collins Coloradoan.

The mother of the six-year-old temporarily believed to be hurtling into the heavens in a 20-foot Mylar balloon signed an affidavit that it was all staged.

In the affidavit, Mayumi Heene said she and her husband knew all along that Falcon was not on the balloon but rather hiding in the attic the whole time.

The motive for the hoax was to make their family, which appeared on Wife Swap and was angling for their own show "marketable for future media interest."

Even though Mayumi has confessed, Richard Heene's criminal fate is still "up in the air," according to a Denver defense attorney not involved with the case.

A week ago Thursday, viewers around the globe watched a saucer-shaped craft that was supposedly carrying Falcon Heene, who later came out of hiding.

Mayumi Heene, top left, told officers they planned the Balloon Boy hoax for two weeks, and not only that, they built the balloon specifically for the stunt.

She even admitted that both she and Richard Heene had instructed their three boys – Bradford, 10, Ryo, 8, and Falcon – to lie to authorities after the fact.

Falcon kinda blew it on CNN the night of, but nice try.

The Larimer County District Attorney could file formal charges against the Heenes at any time, including class four felonies: contributing to the delinquency of a minor, attempting to influence a public servant and conspiracy.

The charges, if they are filed, could bring 6-12 years in prison and fines up to $500,000. If convicted, they also could owe an unknown amount of restitution.

Declaring bankruptcy won't wash away debt owed to the rescuers that wasted hundreds of thousands to save Falcon: that cannot be discharged until paid.

Looks like if the Heenes were seeking fame and riches from this, they got it half right. Eh, not really, even the fame they achieved is entirely negative.

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The 911 call made by Mayumi and Richard Heene Heene to Fort Collins, Colo., police during the original Balloon Boy hoax last week has been released.

Pretending to be distraught and worried about son Falcon Heene, Richard says he's sure his 6-year-old is in the balloon, pleading with the dispatcher:

"What do you do in a case like this? How the heck am I gonna get him down?"

Sickening what people will do and say for their 15 minutes.

These two should have taken some acting classes, as their attempts to act hysterical are mediocre at best, and their version of events is suspect.

Our favorite part? Richard Heene admitting he called the FAA before he called 911. Who would that occur to if this weren't an elaborate sham?

Listen to the 911 call by playing the video below ...

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There are plenty of good fathers out there, and we laud their efforts. But unfortunately, some of the poorest ones have been dominating news cycles of late.

None garners headlines quite like Jon Gosselin. In the last six months, the Jon and Kate Plus 8 dad has gone through a ultimate midlife crisis like no other.

Before you just hand the Ed Hardy-wearing, mediocre skirt-chasing d-bag the title of Worst Father Ever, however, consider some of his recent competition.

There's Richard Heene, a.k.a. Balloon Boy's dad, who exploited his six-year-old, local law enforcement and the National Guard. All for his reality TV dream.

Then there's Michael Lohan, who's done time, failed to pay child support, and whose eldest train wreck is unlikely to survive too long the way she's going.

Who's the worst of the worst? There may be no right answer to that, but we leave it up to you to come as close as we can. Vote in the survey below!

Lohan Patriarch

Who's the worst dad?

 

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Don't take it from THG - although it's so obvious that you very well could - just ask the L.A. Department of Children and Family Services or the people he shopped reality shows to long before he orchestrated the Balloon Boy hoax.

Richard Heene was reported to CFS by Matt Wineroth in March 2006 for an incident Heene claims Wineroth filed the "erroneous" report over in retaliation.

Retaliation for what? Matt Wineroth was arrested on suspicion of stealing computer records from Heene's company a few years prior. This dude is so shady.

At the end of that drama, Heene's request for a restraining order against Wineroth was eventually dismissed because Richard himself was a no-show in court.

Meanwhile, the CEO of a big production company says Heene lied his way through Hollywood hocking a show that could have put his kids in harm's way.

Tom Forman of Relativity Real and creator of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, says he saw the Heene family on Wife Swap and was "intrigued and aghast."

Pretty much sums up the Balloon Boy saga overall.

Hot Air

Richard Heene is full of more hot air than his flying contraption.

Forman says he spoke with Heene on the phone a month ago to discuss Heene's idea for a reality show about his family - including small kids chasing storms.

Forman says Heene gave his word that he had not pitched the show to anyone else. Turns out, just days later, Forman's employees were in a meeting with TLC about another show and they raised the Heene same reality TV show proposal.

The TLC folks said not only had Heene pitched the show to them a week earlier, he flew to L.A. to personally make the sell, totally playing multiple sides.

Forman says Heene is a "liar" and told him never to contact them again.

Richard Heene and accomplices in the Balloon Boy hoax are looking at felony charges for wasting everyone's time and hundreds of thousands of dollars.

It kind makes you want to throw up, too.

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The Heene family, accused of perpetrating the Balloon Boy hoax to promote a reality show, are looking at some serious criminal charges this week or next.

The couple's lawyer, David Lane, expects charges to be filed by Wednesday, and says the Heenes will themselves in to avoid the spectacle of a public arrest.

Ironic that Richard Heene does not want a public spectacle this time.

Sheriff Jim Alderden wants to charge Richard and Mayumi Heene with felonies and says the hoax was two weeks in the planning and a marketing ploy.

They're also hunting for any accomplices who helped the Heenes.

"We certainly know that there's a conspiracy between the husband and wife, and you've probably seen some of the e-mails and some of the things on the Internet suggesting that there may be other conspirators involved," Alderden said.

A man named Robert Thomas claims he worked for Richard Heene and helped plan the Balloon Boy stunt. Police are also investigating an unnamed media outlet that agreed to pay money to the Heenes with regard to the incident.

Richard Heene could be out many thousands of dollars before this is over.

Also helping the cops' case? A profile Heene posted on RealityWanted.com, hocking himself to casting agents and producers as the next big reality star.

Heene created his profile on September 28, 2009.

While Richard describes himself as a scientist, a contractor, high school educated, married, with children, male, and straight, he didn't make a specific pitch for any specific show. Could that be because his big idea was this hoax?

Also, police have learned that Richard Heene has a criminal record in L.A. and was sentenced to jail in April 1997 and charged with misdemeanor vandalism, vehicle tampering, and disturbing the peace. The victim's name is not known.

The national media frenzy began last Thursday afternoon when Falcon Heene, 6, was believed to be carried off inside a giant, homemade helium balloon. 

The National Guard tried to rescue Falcon via helicopter and a search was conducted after the empty balloon landed - under the assumption he fell out.

Turns out Falcon was at his house the whole time. Rumors of a hoax popped up 10 seconds later, and Falcon basically confirmed as much on Larry King.

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Richard Heene orchestrated the whole Balloon Boy hoax last week and had planned it for some time, according to authorities, who plan to charge him with a crime.

No sentence is long enough.

Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden says the runaway balloon incident sparking a massive rescue effort for Falcon Heene was a "hoax" and a "publicity stunt."

The purpose? To promote a reality show.

Not that he has one. He just wants one.

Alderden says he will file charges against Richard and Mayumi Heene soon, one of which would be contributing to the delinquency of a minor, which is a felony.

The other charges could be conspiracy, false reporting and attempt to influence a law enforcement officer. The most significant charges they're facing could result in a maximum sentence of six years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

Falcon Heene, a.k.a. Balloon Boy, with insane father Richard Heene.

Falcon Heene, who pretty much confirmed the hoax on CNN the night of, and his siblings will probably not face charges, Alderden says, because of their age. Child Protective Services has been notified and will be conducting an investigation.

Authorities say the Balloon Boy hoax was a "planned event for two weeks." A dude who worked for Richard Heene also said yesterday he helped plan the stunt.

If the charges do go forward, they will seek restitution for all the expenses the county incurred. He doesn't believe anyone would do time because of the overcrowding situation in Colorado and because it would be a first offense.

He did not set a time frame for when arrests would be made.

The sheriff even got in a good dig at Richard Heene, who he is no fan of: "His education level is only high school ... he may be nutty, but he's not a professor."

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Robert Thomas, who used to work for Richard Heene (Balloon Boy's dad), said he was obsessed with becoming famous, wanted his own reality show, and had this wild idea for a media stunt that involved a weather balloon that resembles a UFO.

As with Heene's press conference, we wish we were kidding.

Thomas tells Gawker that Heene said this would "be the most significant UFO-related news event to take place since the Roswell Crash of 1947."

He says Heene was "driven by ego and fame" after being on Wife Swap. He says Heene's idea for a show was something like "MythBusters-meets-mad scientist."

Yeah. Richard's gonna be out a lot of money pretty soon.

Thomas says he worked for Heene from March-May of this year, and said he was looking to sell his side of the story for money. Gawker admits paying him for it.

Nevertheless, the Larimer County Sheriff's Department is preparing to file charges against the Heene family over the heavily-publicized incident late last week.

Hopefully Richard Heene and family have a lot of money saved up.

Six-year-old Falcon Heene (middle) was reported missing and thought to be carried off in Richard's balloon, causing mass hysteria. But he was just in the attic.

Sheriff Jim Alderden indicated criminal charges may be filed against one or both parents for the Balloon Boy hoax. He said the charges now would likely be misdemeanors, but that "hardly seems serious enough given the circumstances."

He said he will speak with the FAA about pursuing more "appropriate charges."

In other words, payback for the millions Heene caused emergency responders to waste planning to rescue his son, who wasn't even on the freaking balloon.

Deputies are already working on a search warrant of Richard Heene's home. Officers showed up at the Heene home with a search warrant late Saturday night.

At least three officers showed up at the home to execute the warrant, and while they wouldn't reveal what they were looking for, they're not taking it lightly.

No word on whether Falcon Heene is feeling better.

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Earlier today, Richard Heene, the strange father of Balloon Boy Falcon Heene, said he was going to be making a big announcement at a press conference.

His announcement? That he is setting up a suggestion box.

We're as perplexed as you.

Richard Heene spoke for only about a minute, telling the media that he doesn't get cable so he has no idea what people are saying about his family.

So he put a box out in front of his house so people can drop questions in, on sheets of paper (so old-fashioned). It is already bursting with questions.

Heene says he will come back later and answer them. That will occur at 9:30 EST this evening. We know will be refreshing this page over and over.

Balloon Boy Hoax?

Balloon Boy's dad, Richard Heene, sure is milking this thing.

Richard did say that Thursday's drama - in which Falcon Heene, 6, was thought to be hurtling toward the heavens in a homemade balloon he was later revealed not to be aboard - was totally not a hoax. The authorities are looking into that, however.

A rep for the Sheriff's Department in Larimer County, Colorado, says they will interview Heene family again Monday - unless Richard says something moronic (fairly likely) at tonight's press conference, in which case they'll do so sooner.

The department originally planned to speak to the weird family today, but decided to give their officers the weekend off. However, they will be keeping an eye on the ridiculous question box press conference scheduled for tonight.

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Falcon Heene, who gained instant notoriety and a misnomer of a nickname (Balloon Boy) yesterday, is thankfully safe and sound, having never drifted away in his father's homemade helium craft as was originally believed.

But the six-year-old Colorado boy does have the flu.

As his family did the morning show circuit on Friday, Today viewers saw Balloon Boy throw up on camera as his siblings and mother recoiled in abject terror.

Easily an 8.5 on the unintentional comedy scale.

What's considerably less funny is the increasing suspicion that the incident, which captivated the nation and resulted in millions of dollars prematurely spent trying to rescue Falcon Heene on the fly, may have all been a hoax.

Balloon Boy

Richard Heene cradles one ill Balloon Boy.

Father Richard Heene tried to deny this on Today, saying he has nothing to gain from it. But as the man spoke, offering no clear answers to why Falcon himself seemingly confimed the hoax on CNN last night, his son barfed.

The cost to Colorado taxpayers is that sickening.

The Larimer County Sheriff's Department will conduct an investigation into the getaway balloon caper. They have not decided if it's a criminal investigation.

One reason for suspicion? Falcon Heene and family were on ABC's Wife Swap last spring, and have pitched reality shows to multiple networks since. Fishy.

Here's Falcon Heene, a.k.a. Balloon Boy, and his family addressing the subject on the Today show. The vomiting takes place around the six-minute mark ...

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Call us crazy, but before reporting our six-year-old was missing (or had up and floated away in a balloon), we might first look around our damn house.

That seems like a logical way to make sure the little guy were really on the thing before reporting it and sparking an insane, expensive media frenzy.

Immediately after Falcon Heene, a.k.a. Balloon Boy, turned up in the attic rather than inside a homemade balloon, rumors of a hoax began circulating.

Possibly for good reason!

Last night, Falc and family were on CNN, where he was asked why he didn't come out of hiding as parents searched for him (as they claim they were).

"You guys said that we did this for the show," he said.

His dad responded by saying "Man," his mom adding "No."

The Heene family: Richard, Mayumi, Ryan, Falcon and Bradford. Falcon Heene would be Balloon Boy. They were once on Wife Swap. Was the saga of Balloon Boy a hoax?

Wolf Blitzer either didn't hear what Balloon Boy said, didn't put it together or just didn't want to go there. Either way, he moved on to the next question.

The family appeared on the ABC show Wife Swap in March.

The Larimer County Sheriff's Dept. who told us they are aware of Falcon Heene's comments on "Larry King Live" tonight - and are "investigating the situation."

Cops also say they've been inundated with calls from tipsters who want to give them a heads up on the 6-year-old's "We did this for the show" quote on CNN.

Here's the video of Balloon Boy busting his parents ...

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