Fredric D. Firestone, an associate director of enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission who spearheaded the SEC’s auction-rate securities investigations, will leave at the end February to become a partner at McDermott, Will & Emery in Washington.

During his 12 years at the ­commission, Firestone also oversaw significant enforcement actions and settlements in the Enron and WorldCom cases in the early 2000s. The 2008 and 2009 ARS settlements have resulted in the return of more than $50 billion to harmed investors, the largest financial remedy in the history of the SEC, ­officials say.

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