Freddie Mac CFO found dead

David Kellermann, 16-year veteran of mortgage finance giant, was named acting finance chief in September. Death was apparent suicide, police say.

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David Kellerman was named Acting CFO in September 2008
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VIENNA, Va. (CNN) -- The acting chief financial officer of mortgage finance giant Freddie Mac, David Kellermann, was found dead Wednesday morning, police said.

The death "may have been an apparent suicide," said Lucy Caldwell, a spokeswoman for police in Fairfax County, Va.

Authorities said there were no signs of foul play when officers were called to Kellermann's home in Vienna shortly before 5 a.m. ET, Caldwell said. A source familiar with the investigation said Kellerman apparently hanged himself.

"The Freddie Mac family is truly saddened by the news this morning of David Kellermann's death," Freddie interim CEO John Koskinen said in a statement. "His extraordinary work ethic and integrity inspired all who worked with him. But he will be most remembered for his affability, his personal warmth, his sense of humor and his quick wit."

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, whose office works closely with Fannie and Freddie, also offered condolences.

"On behalf of the Treasury family, we are deeply saddened by the news this morning of David Kellermann's death," Geithner said. "Our deepest sympathies are with his family and his colleagues at Freddie Mac during this difficult time."

Kellermann, 41, who also served as a senior vice president, had been with Freddie Mac (FRE, Fortune 500) for more than 16 years.

He was named to acting CFO and senior vice president positions in September 2008, and was responsible for the company's financial controls. This included overseeing financial reporting, compliance with tax requirements and regulations, and annual budgeting and financial planning.

Before assuming his current posts, Kellermann was corporate controller and principal accounting officer.

Kellermann held a master's degree in finance from George Washington University and a bachelor's in political science and accounting from the University of Michigan. He has served as a volunteer board member of the District of Columbia Coalition for the Homeless.

Freddie Mac was established by Congress in 1970 to provide liquidity, stability and affordability to the nation's residential mortgage markets. Freddie Mac supports communities across the nation by providing mortgage capital to lenders.

The government took over Freddie Mac last year, as the nationwide subprime-loan crisis escalated. In September, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were placed under conservatorship by its regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

"We at FHFA are very saddened by the death of David Kellermann," the government agency said in a statement. "As the acting chief financial officer of Freddie Mac during particularly challenging times, David was an inspiration to his staff and many others who were privileged to work with him."

Both companies back mortgages held by private homeowners, and have received massive cash infusions from the government to keep them afloat.

According to a March 11 company filing, Freddie Mac was being investigated by U.S. Attorney's Offices in New York and Virginia. It subsequently was notified that the Securities and Exchange Commission was also launching an inquiry -- which has since evolved into a "formal investigation."

The company was subpoenaed for documents relating to accounting, disclosure and corporate governance matters in September 2008, October 2008, January 2009 and February 2009. The filing also says that SEC staff was interviewing company employees.

In a statement, Freddie said that it "knows of no connection between David Kellerman's death and the regulatory inquiries that were discussed in our recent SEC filing."

A spokesman for the SEC declined to comment. A Justice Department spokesman in Virginia also declined to comment.

As part of its rescue of Freddie and Fannie, the government made $100 billion available to each to cover future losses - amounts that President Obama has since doubled.

On March 11, Freddie reported that it had asked the government for $30.8 billion after already receiving $13.8 billion last fall.

Freddie lost a total of $50 billion in 2008, nearly all of it in the second half of the year, following the government takeover. The company's losses deepened as the housing market continued its decline.  To top of page

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