June 28, 2016 / 9:10 PM / 4 years ago

Civil rights leader Walter Fauntroy out of jail after return to U.S.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. civil rights leader Walter Fauntroy was released from a Virginia jail on Tuesday following his return from a four-year absence in the Middle East, a court official said.

Fauntroy, who faces a bad check charge in Maryland, left the Loudoun County jail in suburban Washington and greeted his wife, Dorothy, for the first time since he left the United States in 2012, television images showed.

Fauntroy, who helped organize the 1963 March on Washington, had left the United States amid legal and financial troubles. He was arrested on Monday when he stepped off his Emirates Airline flight at Washington’s Dulles International Airport.

A spokeswoman for Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman said Fauntroy, a former District of Columbia congressional representative, was released after a Maryland extradition warrant on a bad check charge was dismissed.

He is scheduled for a July 20 hearing in Prince George’s County on charges of writing a $55,000 bad check for a 2009 ball he organized for President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

Fauntroy told the Washington Post last week that he had been living rent-free in the United Arab Emirates in an apartment occupied by a South Sudanese couple and their son.

Besides the bad check charge, a bank filed in 2014 to foreclose on his house, citing outstanding payments. The Post said Fauntroy and his wife sought bankruptcy protection in 2014 but the case was dismissed when he failed to get credit counseling.

The newspaper said Fauntroy said the criminal charge against him and his mounting debts were part of a conspiracy to undermine his reputation.

Fauntroy, a retired Baptist minister, has told friends he was in the Middle East to promote peace and environmentally friendly technology and to end world hunger.

Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by James Dalgleish

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