Embattled brand Krispy Kreme, which is currently the subject of a formal probe by the Securities and Exchange Commission, said that it would cooperate with prosecutors who want to interview former executives of the doughnut and coffee retailer, based here. In published reports, the chain said that the executive inquiry, which is being conducted by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, is related to the ongoing SEC probe and vowed to cooperate with investigators. The names of the executives to be questioned were not identified. Krispy Kreme, which went public roughly five years ago, has been under investigation for its franchisee buyback procedures, as well as its earnings forecasts. It also faces a number of class-action lawsuits by shareholders. The company's stock, which once closed in on the $50 level, now trades at just over $5. Last month the chain ousted chief executive Scott Livengood and handed the reins over to Stephen F. Cooper, a turnaround specialist, who promptly announced a 25 percent reduction in the number of corporate employees.
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