Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden says that there will be criminal charges filed against the parents of “Balloon Boy” Falcon Heene, TMZ reports.
“The hoax [was] a planned event for at least two weeks to launch this spacecraft in order to gain media publicity,” said Alderden at a press conference on Sunday. “To create a situation where it appeared Falcon was in the craft and his life was in danger with an ultimate goal of…obtaining a contract to do a reality show.”
The charges include false reporting, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, conspiracy and attempting to influence a public servant.
On Saturday, it was also apparent that the family had pitched a reality show idea to the network that airs ‘Jon & Kate Plus Eight.’
“They approached us months ago and we passed,” said a TLC spokesperson to Usmagazine.
Richard and Mayumi Heene had an idea for a reality show that focused on their quirky family. The Heenes unsuccessfully shopped the project around to several networks and production companies.
Falcon, 6, was thought to be inside his parent’s homemade helium balloon, which accidentally took flight from their backyard. The boy was found hiding in his attic after an extensive 5-hour search.
The family was recently featured on an episode of the ABC series ‘Wife Swap.’