The reality TV couple which sent Colorado authorities on a wild chase in the 'balloon boy' drama in October (09) has been sentenced to prison.

Richard Heene and his wife Mayumi, who previously appeared on U.S. reality show Wife Swap, were charged with falsely reporting their six-year-old son had been trapped inside a flying experimental balloon, which had become untethered in their back yard. The boy was later found hiding in the family's garage.

Heene pleaded guilty to one felony count of attempting to influence a public servant last month (Nov09), while his wife admitted guilt in one misdemeanor count of false reporting to authorities.

The Heenes appeared in court on Wednesday (23Dec09), when a judge sentenced Richard to 90 days behind bars, although he has been allowed to serve 60 days of his sentence on a work release program, permitting him to seek work as a construction contractor while serving his sentence. He was also placed on four years' probation.

Mayumi received 20 days in prison for her part in the incident, which will be served after Richard completes his sentence. He must report to prison on 11 January (10).

The reality TV couple's sentence comes just a day after they were slapped with a $42,000 bill from Colorado state officials to cover the costs of the hoax. (MT/WNWCZM/JMA)

Copyright 2009 WENN

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