Two pension funds pursuing a class action against Freddie Mac filed an amended complaint Tuesday that relies in part on interviews with unnamed former Freddie executives to allege that the mortgage finance company defrauded shareholders.
Plaintiffs say the complaint, in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York, buttresses their claim that Freddie misrepresented the extent of its exposure to riskier home loans.
The lawsuit was originally brought in August 2008, before federal regulators seized control of Freddie. It is not the only one alleging corporate misdeeds by the government-sponsored enterprise. In 2006 the company settled for $410 million a class action and shareholder lawsuit stemming from accounting irregularities.
A spokeswoman for Freddie declined to comment on litigation.
Plaintiffs say Freddie and three former executives tried to hide a capital shortfall for several quarters through accounting practices that did not accurately price losses on certain asset-backed securities. An unnamed former Freddie executive alleges in the complaint that top executives of the McLean, Va., company manipulated the home price assumptions it used to determine loan-loss reserves.
Unnamed former employees quoted in the suit say Freddie knew its internal systems could not accurately track the credit risk of certain types of riskier mortgages. It also claims the company's risk management team outlined several risk scenarios in August 2007, some of which accurately predicted the subprime mortgage crash. But when markets deteriorated, executives failed to put in place the risk management tools. the complaint said.