Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden told reporters that the "Balloon" Boy incident of October 15, 2009 that riveted the world was a just a big ploy for attention (mission accomplished!), "It has been determined that this is a hoax, that it was a publicity stunt and we believe we have evidence at this point to indicate that this was a publicity stunt in hopes to better market themselves for a reality show." He also said Richard and Mayumi Heene "put on a very good show for us, and we bought it."
As for charges, TMZ reports authorities "plan on filing 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 an officer." Alderden said that the infamous CNN interview where 6-year-old Falcon Heene, who was found in a garage attic after reports that he was in the runaway balloon, said, "Um. You guys said that, hmm, we did this for a show," made them question the family's intentions. The sheriff said, "This has been a planned event for at least two weeks."
Sheriff Alderden had loads of folksy charm, if that's what you call telling reporters to act like "nice children" so their questions could be answered and admitting he left his hearing aid at home. And he also said of Richard Heene, "His education level is only high school ... he may be nutty, but he's not a professor."
Other things of note: There are concerns about possible domestic violence; it's unclear whether Falcon Heene really was in the garage attic the entire time; authorities are looking for others who might have helped plan the hoax (it was implied some media outlets might have known as well); and it's unclear whether the Heenes would be able to repay the cost of the chase.