02/08/2011 11:42 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Richard Heene Still Won't Admit Hoax, Says He Only Pleaded Guilty To Avoid Legal Fees

Richard Heene, the father who orchestrated the infamous Balloon Boy Hoax in 2009, is remaining defiant almost a year and a half after he pleaded guilty to felony charges.

Heene, who moved his family to Florida after serving a jail sentence in connection with the hoax, told the St. Petersburg Times this week that he pleaded guilty in November, 2009 only to avoid legal fees.

"I didn't have a choice," Heene told the paper. "I felt I was at the center of a black hole."

The former Fort Collins resident was sentenced to 90 days in jail, 100 hours of community service and $36,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to felony charges of attempting to influence a public servant.

In October, 2008, Heene reported that his son, Falcon Heene, was trapped in a wayward weather balloon. Efforts at rescuing the boy captured national attention. Authorities say Richard Heene was aware that the boy was in the family's garage the whole time, and that the incident was a hoax aimed at making the family marketable for a reality TV show.

In January, Heene posted a Craigslist ad seeking a lawyer to help him file "a lawsuit against corrupt cops and judicial system."

Heene also posted a Youtube video last month (viewable below) in which he outlines his case against Larimer County authorities. In the video, Heene gives an overview of the Tim Masters case as evidence that the Larimer County justice system is corrupt. Masters was convicted of a 1987 murder in 1999, but later had his life sentence vacated because DNA evidence showed he was innocent.