Police: Death of Freddie Mac CFO may be suicide

David Kellermann, acting CFO of Freddie Mac, was found dead at his home on Wednesday, police said.
The acting chief financial officer of mortgage finance giant Freddie Mac was found dead Wednesday morning at his home, police said.

David Kellermann was found dead of an apparent hanging, a source familiar with the investigation told CNN. There were no signs of foul play when officers arrived at the home in Vienna shortly before 5 a.m., said Lucy Caldwell, a spokeswoman for police in Fairfax County, Virginia. She said the death “may have been an apparent suicide.” Freddie Mac has been immersed in financial problems since last year, when the government took it over in the midst of the escalating subprime-mortgage loan crisis. Federal prosecutors in New York and Virginia have been investigating it, as has the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to a March 11 company filing. A second Fairfax County police spokesman, Eddie Azcarate, said Kellermann’s body was found in the basement. “The exact cause of death … we’re going to wait for the medical examiner,” he said. Azcarate said family members remained in the home, and there were friends and relatives with them. Freddie Mac’s interim CEO expressed his sadness Wednesday over Kellermann’s death. “The Freddie Mac family is truly saddened by the news this morning of David Kellermann’s death. We extend our deepest condolences to David’s family and loved ones for this terrible personal tragedy,” said the statement from John Koskinen. The exterior of the brick home was quiet later Wednesday morning. A reporter from CNN affiliate WUSA-TV said several neighbors had come outside, appearing upset at the news. Kellermann, 41, who also served as a senior vice president, had been with Freddie Mac for more than 16 years. He was named to the 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. Koskinen’s statement praised Kellermann’s long career with the company. “David was a man of great talents. He dedicated those talents to Freddie Mac for more than 16 years, serving in many business and finance capacities before recently taking the reins as acting chief financial officer. “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,” the interim CEO said. 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 launching an inquiry — which has evolved into a “formal investigation.” The company was subpoenaed for documents relating to accounting, disclosure and corporate governance matters in September, October, January and February. The filing also says that SEC staff was interviewing company employees. The government took over Freddie Maclast year. In September, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were placed under conservatorship by their regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Both companies back mortgages held by private homeowners, and have received massive cash infusions from the government to keep them afloat. 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.