What to Know
Ex-congressman Walter Fauntroy was arrested at Washington Dulles International Airport on a charge that he passed a bad check for $50,000.
The 83-year-old's friends and family members previously said he was missing after traveling in the Middle East and Africa for years.
The funds were intended to help pay for a 2009 ball Fauntroy had organized for President Barack Obama's first inauguration.
The civil rights activist and former D.C. congressman arrested Monday on a charge of passing a bad check for $50,000 was released Tuesday afternoon from jail in Virginia.
Walter Fauntroy, 83, grinned as he carefully walked out of the Adult Detention Center in Leesburg, Virginia. After nearly five years living in the Middle East and Africa, he hugged his wife.
"He's in a great mood. He's glad to be home," family spokeswoman E. Faye Williams said at a news conference.
Fauntroy did not speak there. His wife, Dorothy Fauntroy, only said she was "relieved."
Fauntroy was granted release from a jail in Loudoun County, Virginia, after he agreed to appear next month in court in Prince George's County, Maryland, court documents show.
The former right-hand man to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was detained at Washington Dulles International Airport after he arrived from Dubai about 8:15 a.m. Monday. He traveled extensively for years, pursuing vaguely described business opportunities. Loved ones expressed concerns about his health.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers saw there was an outstanding warrant bearing Fauntroy's name and took him into custody, an agency spokesman said. Fauntroy was accused of fraud, writing a bad check in Prince George's County, and failing to appear in court.
Fauntroy told The Washington Post in a phone interview last week that he was coming home and believed the bad-check issue had been resolved.
The check was written in the amount of $50,000, according to a representative for the Prince George's County State's Attorney's Office. It was intended to help pay for a 2009 ball he had organized for President Barack Obama's first inauguration.
Attorney Arthur Reynolds, who is representing Fauntroy in the bad-check case, said Monday he had not yet spoken to Fauntroy and could not comment on the case. He previously said Fauntroy had paid some of his debt.
Fauntroy was held for Maryland law enforcement in Loudoun County, where part of Dulles is located.
He served in Congress for 20 years, helped organize the 1963 March on Washington and founded the Free South Africa movement.
News4 reported in January that Fauntroy's family and friends said the former pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Northwest D.C. had gone missing. Dorothy Fauntroy told News4 she wanted her husband to come home.
Barnes and others were trying to find Fauntroy and persuade him to return. A small group of loved ones is preparing to raise money to help pay Fauntroy’s debts.
According to bankruptcy documents filed in March 2015, Fauntroy had been traveling for years and had little contact with family or friends. Longtime associate Johnny Barnes filed bankruptcy papers on behalf of Fauntroy and his wife to stave off the foreclosure of their home in Northwest D.C.'s Crestwood neighborhood.
Upon his return to the country, Fauntroy was eager to eat American food, Williams said on his behalf. He asked for a hamburger, french fries and a Coke, she said.
Fauntroy is due back in court July 20.
Stay with News4 for more details on this developing story.