A federal judge has ruled that the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight lacks the legal authority to freeze $53.7 million in compensation owed to ousted Freddie Mac chairman and chief executive Leland Brendsel.OFHEO said it is reviewing the decision of U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon. The agency is consulting with the Justice Department regarding its options in the case. (Judge Leon's decision came on Aug. 30.) An agency spokesperson noted that the judge "acknowledged" OFHEO's ability to "seek remedies" against Mr. Brendsel through the administrative law process. In May Mr. Brendsel sued the agency to release the money. The former CEO was ousted in June of last year in connection with the company's $5 billion earnings restatement scandal. OFHEO ordered Freddie Mac to freeze certain compensation owed to Mr. Brendsel and has gone to court seeking his cooperation in its investigation of the scandal.

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