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Freddie Mac Official Dead in Apparent Suicide

Posted on 22 Apr 2009

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The acting chief financial officer of troubled mortgage giant Freddie Mac was found dead in his Fairfax County home early this morning after apparently committing suicide, police said.

David Kellermann, 41, was a longtime Freddie Mac executive who joined the firm as an analyst in 1992. Police were called to his stately red brick home in the upscale Hunter Mill Estates subdivision shortly before 5 a.m., police spokesman Eddy Azcarte said. The call was made by someone inside the home, which is on a tree-studded corner lot in the 1700 block of Raleigh Hill Road.

Azcarte said Kellermann's body was found in the basement. There was no immediate information about whether he left a suicide note, or what may have prompted him to take his own life.

Kellermann was named acting chief financial officer of Freddie Mac last September, when the federal government seized Freddie Mac and ousted its top executives.

The company, along with sister company Fannie Mae, had made risky mortgage-related investments that were causing billions in losses. The two firms have received nearly $60 billion in government bailout funds.

Freddie Mac has been conducting a public search for a permanent chief financial officer.

Life has changed dramatically for Freddie Mac employees in the year since the housing market crashed and the economy entered a major downturn.

Once a high-flying finance company, the company has been transformed into a quasi-government agency, carrying out big parts of the Obama administration's housing recovery plan.

The companies were criticized on Capitol Hill earlier this month after outlining plans to pay $210 million in retention bonuses to 7,600 employees over 18 months. But the federal regulator who oversees the companies, James B. Lockhart, defended the proposed bonuses, saying those currently working at the companies "are an important part of the solution and not the problems of the past."

Kellermann, who lived in the 1700 block of Raleigh Hill Road, graduated from the University of Michigan and did graduate work at George Washington University. He was a volunteer board member of the D.C. Coalition for the Homeless.

As acting chief financial officer, Kellermann reported directly to the company's chief executive, according to a biographical profile posted on the company's Web site. He was responsible for the company's financial controls, financial reporting, tax, capital oversight, and compliance with federal oversight requirements, and also oversaw the company's annual budgeting and financial planning processes.