By JAMES R. HAGERTY and T.W. FARNAM
VIENNA, Va. -- Authorities recovered the body Wednesday of Freddie Mac's acting chief financial officer after an apparent suicide in the home he shared with his wife and young daughter.
David B. Kellermann, who had worked 16 years at the ailing mortgage giant, was described by colleagues as popular, jovial and upbeat, but some said he recently appeared stressed and overwhelmed by the job. "He worked himself into a frazzle," a former co-worker said. Colleagues said Mr. Kellermann was involved in dealing with investigations into Freddie's accounting by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission, but that there was no indication he was a target or that the inquiries were causing him anguish.
Investigators have been questioning Freddie officials about possible accounting violations and other matters in recent months, the company disclosed in March. "We know of no connection between this terrible personal tragedy and the ongoing regulatory inquiries discussed in our recent SEC filing," said David Palombi, Freddie's chief spokesman.
A person familiar with the Justice Department's investigation said it was in its early stages and that Mr. Kellermann wasn't considered a target of the probe.
David Moffett, who resigned last month as chief executive officer of Freddie, said in an interview that Mr. Kellermann was a "very skilled and capable" executive who "had lists and lists of things to do" but brightened up meetings with jokes and his loud neckties.
Fairfax County police, responding to a 911 call at 4:48 a.m., found Mr. Kellermann's body in the basement of the home he shared with his wife, Donna, and 6-year-old daughter, Grace, in the Hunter Mill Estates subdivision in a Washington, D.C., suburb. A police spokesman wouldn't provide details on Mr. Kellermann's death but said there were no signs of foul play.
Mr. Kellermann, who joined Freddie in 1992, was named acting financial chief in late September. He had been a senior vice president and corporate controller. He had earned a masters degree in finance from George Washington University and a bachelors degree in political science and accounting from the University of Michigan, according to Freddie's Web site.
Along with rival Fannie Mae, Freddie is caught in a turbulent period that has pressured executives and left some demoralized. Both companies have seen departures of some key executives in recent months. Gary Kain, who was the head of Freddie's investments and capital-markets operations, joined a private-equity firm early this year, and Timothy Bitsberger, Freddie's treasurer, stepped down in November. Adding to the turmoil was Mr. Moffett's abrupt resignation as chief executive of Freddie.