Menu

Politics

Politics

Freddie Mac CFO Found Dead of Apparent Suicide

The acting chief financial officer of Freddie Mac was found dead in his home Wednesday morning of an apparent suicide, Fairfax, Va., police have confirmed. 

Kellermann, a 16-year veteran of the mortgage loan guarantor, was discovered by his wife, who found him in the basement. The two have a young daughter.

Fairfax police spokeswoman Mary Anne Jennings said police were called to the Northern Virginia home outside Washington, D.C., in the early morning hours. A call came in at 4:48 a.m. ET.

Kellermann, 41, was named acting chief financial officer in September 2008 and was a member of the company's leadership team reporting directly to CEO David M. Moffett, who resigned last month.

FOX Business Network confirmed that investigators from the Securities and Exchange Commission and Justice Department have been questioning officials of Freddie Mac about possible accounting violations and other matters in recent months.

An SEC official told FOX Business Network that Kellermann had been involved in the company's accounting for many years but would not speculate on any connection between the investigation and Kellerman's death.

Doug Duvall, a spokesman for Freddie Mac, told FOX News that the company "knows of no connection between this personal tragedy and the ongoing regulatory inquiries discussed in our recent SEC filings."

Click here to listen to FOX Radio's Todd Starnes

Sources said Kellerman had a reputation at Freddie Mac as "the answer man." 

"Kellermann was a behind-the-scenes guy who never showed up on anyone's radar until he was appointed (acting) CFO last September. He had a reputation of being a straight shooter with high ethical standards," said Guy Cecala, publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance, a mortgage trade publication that covers Freddie Mac.

Freddie Mac Interim CEO John Koskinen issued a statement Wednesday that the "Freddie Mac family is truly saddened" by the news.

"David was a man of great talents. ... 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. David was a friend to many in the Freddie Mac family, and we mourn his passing," Koskinen said.

According to his biographical information, as acting chief financial officer, Kellermann "is responsible for the company's financial controls, financial reporting, tax, capital oversight and compliance with the requirements" of congressional legislation known as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. That law was a response to financial scandals like Enron and was intended to make corporate boards more accountable.

Freddie Mac was established by Congress in 1970 to provide liquidity, stability and affordability to the nation's residential mortgage markets by guaranteeing loans to what is now 3 million homebuyers. It has been in the center of the mortgage meltdown along with Fannie Mae, requiring $60 billion in federal funding to secure bad loans. The government took over the two government-sponsored enterprises in hopes of preventing further fallout.

Kellermann joined Freddie Mac in 1992, worked for several years in the company's securities sales and trading unit, and has served in a variety of positions, including as a vice president for strategy execution and integration and the Investments and Capital Markets division controller. 

FOX Business Network's Peter Barnes contributed to this report.