Page last updated at 16:49 GMT, Wednesday, 22 April 2009 17:49 UK

US Freddie Mac chief found dead

Freddie Mac chief financial officer David Kellermann
David Kellermann had worked for Freddie Mac for 16 years

The acting chief financial officer of struggling US mortgage giant Freddie Mac has been found dead after apparently killing himself, police say.

Fairfax County Police said there was no foul play suspected in the death of David Kellermann, found in his home 20km (13 miles) west of Washington DC.

The 41-year-old had worked for the company for 16 years and became chief financial officer in September.

Freddie Mac was bailed out by the US government last year.

Police were investigating the death after being called to the house just before 0500 local time by Mr Kellermann's wife.

"We were called from inside the house to come investigate an apparent suicide," a Fairfax police spokeswoman told local media, according to AFP news agency.

Finance investigation

US media reports said Mr Kellermann was found hanging in the basement of the house.

In March Freddie Mac revealed a loss of $50.1bn (£36.1bn) for 2008, and said it planned to ask the US government for another $31bn of aid.

The company received $13.8bn in federal aid last year.

It also said in March that it was co-operating with an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, and that employees had spoken to investigators.

Freddie Mac headquarters
Freddie Mac has suffered badly in the US housing downturn

However, the company said it was not aware of any links with Mr Kellermann.

"Freddie Mac knows of no connections between this terrible personal tragedy and the ongoing regulatory inquiries discussed in our SEC filings," company spokesman David Palombi told Reuters.

Freddie Mac's interim chief executive John Koskinen said the death was a "terrible personal tragedy."

"David was a friend to many in the Freddie Mac family, and we mourn his passing," he added.

Mr Kellermann's job included responsibilities for the company's financial controls, financial reporting and tax.

He also oversaw the company's annual budgeting and financial planning processes, according to his company biography.

Freddie Mac and sister company Fannie Mae underwrite more than half of all US mortgages.

The death is the latest blow for Freddie Mac, after chief executive officer David Moffett resigned last month after just six months in the job.

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