Mortgage financing concern Fannie Mae revealed that its former auditor, Big Four firm KPMG, had notified the embattled company that it had discovered indications of weaknesses in its internal controls. In an SEC filing, Fannie Mae disclosed that the Big Four audit firm unearthed deficiencies with regard to its quarterly closing processes and that entries had been made after the books had been closed for the quarter that ended Sept. 30. Last week, Fannie Mae dismissed KPMG as its independent accountant, and on the same day, the board also ousted chief executive Franklin D. Raines and chief financial officer J. Timothy Howard. Currently, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, the entity that regulates Fannie Mae, and its smaller mortgage sibling, Freddie Mac, is investigating the exorbitant severance packages for both Raines and Howard. In September, the OFHEO released a report calling into question the company's accounting practices and charging it with earnings manipulation. As a result, in early December, the SEC ordered Fannie Mae to restate its earnings from 2001-2004, which could potentially erase some $9 billion in profits. Fannie Mae said that in order to help blunt the effect of lost earnings, it is mulling a private stock sale that could be as much as $4 billion.
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