Jan 9, 2010 9:08 AM by Associated Press

Officials scoff at balloon dad's new media blitz

Prosecutors have submitted an estimate of the amount authorities spent responding to a couple's false report that their son was inside a runaway balloon.

Richard Heene is set to start serving a 90-day jail sentence Monday in Larimer County, and Mayumi Heene will serve a 20-day sentence after his jail term ends.

Richard Heene also has to pay restitution for search and rescue efforts.Today prosecutors said about $48,000 is owed to local law enforcement, the National Guard, firefighters and the U.S. Forest Service.

Richard Heene is now saying he is innocent and only pleaded guilty to save his wife from being deported to Japan. Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden says he's convinced it was all a hoax.


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