Clock Is Ticking on Crisis Charges

Time is running out for U.S. securities regulators to file civil charges for alleged wrongdoing during the financial crisis.

Federal laws under which the Securities and Exchange Commission usually goes after alleged fraud and other misdeeds have a five-year statute of limitations. The five-year limit is causing SEC officials to race to file lawsuits in some cases and ask lawyers representing the targets of certain investigations to give the agency more time, according to people close to the investigation.

The SEC intends to file charges against firms and people involved in the creation of a $1.6 billion mortgage-bond deal called Delphinus CDO 2007-1, people close to the investigation said. The collateralized debt obligation—which is a pool of subprime mortgages or other loans, slices of which are sold to investors—imploded within months.

Among those likely facing civil charges are Mizuho Financial Group Inc. 8411.TO -0.77% and former employee Alexander Rekeda, these people said. The Japanese bank underwrote and sold the mortgage-bond deal, while Mr. Rekeda assembled it.

Rest here…