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Couple behind 2009 ‘balloon boy’ hoax in US granted pardons

Richard and Mayumi Heene claimed son had floated away to try to get reality TV show

The husband and wife who pleaded guilty to criminal charges for staging the 2009 “balloon boy” hoax, in which they created a global media sensation with a false report that their son had floated away in a makeshift dirigible, have been pardoned by Colorado’s governor.

In granting executive clemency to Richard and Mayumi Heene, Governor Jared Polis said the couple, now 59 and 56, had paid their debt to society for a “spectacle” that wasted law enforcement time and resources.

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