Freddie Mac Official Planned Time Off Before Suicide

PHOTO Law enforcement sources said David Kellermann, acting chief financial officer of mortgage company Freddie Mac, was found hanging in the basement of his Vienna, Va., home, dead from an apparent suicide early this morning.

David Kellermann, the acting chief financial officer of Freddie Mac who was found dead in his Virginia home Wednesday, discussed taking time off from work just days before apparently committing suicide.

A source said Kellermann -- who was named acting CFO in September when two executives were fired and the mortgage giant was placed under government control -- had been working long hours and planned to take a few days off.

Kellermann,41, was found dead, hanging in the basement of his Vienna, Va., home early Wednesday morning.

Neighbors who described the 16-year veteran of Freddie Mac as affable and friendly, said he had been showing signs of strain and had noticebly lost weight in recent weeks.

Click Here for the Latest Business Stories From ABC News

Neighbors said they were shocked to learn of the man's death.

"This is a solid salt of the earth kind of family and guy, and I just cannot imagine what has occurred," neighbor Paul Ungar said. "I mean, I understand the economy, I understand what's gone on with those companies, but I just can't imagine what would have driven him to that."

In the months since the takeover, Freddie Mac has been criticized for reckless business practices that some argued contributed to the housing and financial crisis. The company is controlled by the government and owns or guarantees about 13 million home loans.

Freddie Mac and sibling company Fannie Mae, which together own or back more than half the home mortgages in the United States, have been hobbled by skyrocketing loan defaults and have received about $60 billion in combined federal aid.

Kellermann was named acting chief financial officer in September 2008, after the resignation of Anthony "Buddy" Piszel, who stepped down when the government took over.

According to securities reports filed in March, Kellermann was to receive an $850,000 bonus.

Kellermann owned 43,000 shares of Freddie Mac stock last summer, worth about $395,000. As the company's stock plummeted from $9 a share in July to 80 cents or so this morning, he had slowly sold off some shares, for pennies on the dollar. His holdings of 38,861 shares, as of April 11, were worth $30,000, according to ABC News' calculations of Security and Exchange Commission filings.

In filings with the SEC in March, Freddie Mac said it had entered into a pact with Kellermann and two other company executives to protect them from liabilities and expenses in connection to any threatened or pending lawsuits. The agreement, which kicked in retroactively from the time of the government takeover, would not protect the officials from willful criminal misconduct.

In an SEC filing from September, Freddie Mac disclosed that it received a federal grand jury subpoena from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York seeking information about the company's accounting, disclosure and corporate-governance procedures. The subpoena was withdrawn, and the investigation was taken over by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner released a statement Wednesday expressing the government's condolences.

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

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...