They claim their hoax was not for profit, but Atlanta residents Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer received $50,000 from a California Bigfoot tracker who now plans to sue to get the money back.

The two Georgia men’s tale of having found a Bigfoot carcass in the North Georgia woods really started to stink when California Bigfoot enthusiasts finally examined the body and found it was just a costume.

“There will be legal action” said Catherine Ortez, who works for Searching for Bigfoot, Inc. in in Menlo Park, Calif. The organization paid for rights to the men’s story and their find. “If this was a joke, it was very methodical and thought-out,” she said.

The Searching site was founded by Tom Biscardi, who authenticated and promoted the alleged Georgia Sasquatch. Biscardi, who did not return calls requesting comment, has his own credibility issues, according to a police officer in a nearby jurisdiction.

“He was involved in a similar hoax a few years back,” said Agent Dan Ryan with the Palo Alto (Calif.) Police Department.

In an interview with WSB-TV Wednesday night, Whitton and Dyer’s attorney, Steve Lister, blamed Biscardi for blowing his clients’ joke out of proportion.

“It started off as some YouTube videos and a Web site,” said Whitton, “We’re all about having fun.”

Whitton, 28, a Clayton County police officer for six years, was fired Tuesday after news of the hoax spread. Dyer, 31, is a former Clayton County corrections officer.

Though, according to their site, the pair are not averse to making money off their amusement. For $500, you can join them for a Bigfoot expedition. They also sell Sasquatch-related T-shirts and caps.

Repeated attempts to reach both men were unsuccessful, and Lister did not return calls seeking comment.

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