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Mr. Contogouris and Mr. Baldwin sold their shares in Ocean Therapy Solutions for $1.4 million and $500,000, respectively. The company was marketing the oil-separating centrifuges.

Mr. Baldwin testified he would have held out for much more if he had known BP had committed to ordering 32 of the machines. Soon after they sold their shares, the oil giant made an $18 million deposit on a $52 million order.

Attorneys for Mr. Costner and Mr. Smith said Mr. Baldwin and Mr. Contogouris knew BP was preparing to order the machines when they walked away from the company rather than gamble for a more lucrative payout if BP signed a binding contract. At the time they sold their shares, BP only had signed a nonbinding letter of intent, the defendants’ attorneys said.

• Compiled from Web and wire reports