David Kellermann, acting chief financial officer of mortgage giant Freddie Mac, was found dead on Wednesday in his suburban Virginia home after apparently committing suicide, a local police source said.
Police officials in Fairfax County would not confirm the death was a suicide but said police were called at 4:48 a.m. EDT to his home in the leafy suburb of Reston.
Police spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell did not elaborate on the cause of death, saying only that the incident was under investigation. ABC News said Kellermann was founding hanging in the basement of his home.
Kellermann, 41, was a 16-year veteran of the firm who had served in various accounting roles before he was named acting chief financial officer in September.
That move came after the Treasury Department seized the company, and its sibling mortgage agency Fannie Mae, as the agencies faced deep losses on a crashing U.S. housing market that was rapidly engulfing other financial institutions.
The two government-sponsored enterprises had a hand in about half of the entire U.S. mortgage market and were taken over in an effort to ward off further damage to the U.S. housing market.
Colleagues and former co-workers were shocked at the news.
He was a smart guy who had risen fast. And people liked being around him. That's not something you could say about everyone there, said a former Freddie Mac executive who knew Kellermann.
Kellermann had been closely involved in many key accounting and financial issues since 2003 when regulators found that Freddie Mac had improperly booked years of losses.
Before taking over as acting CFO, he served as senior vice president, corporate controller and principal accounting officer.
(Additional reporting by Walden Siew; Editing by Frances Kerry)