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Three senior officers sold a total of 61,632 shares near Apple’s all-time high

Apple (AAPL) set a new record last Friday, closing at $270.83 a share. Two trading days later, it closed at $262.04, down $7.46 in one day, and it fell another $6.59 to $256.41 in mid-morning trading Wednesday.

Among the people lucky — or prescient — enough to sell before the stock dropped were three senior Apple officers: Scott Forstall, senior VP for iPhone software; Mark Papermaster, senior VP devices; and Betsy Rafael, VP, controller and chief accounting officer.

According to SEC Form 4s filed Tuesday, the trio sold a total of 61,632 preferentially owned shares between Friday and Monday at prices ranging from $267.01 to $271.43 a share. Total proceeds: $16.5 million.

Papermaster, the veteran IBM (IBM) executive who replaced Tony Fadell as head of the iPod/iPhone division (see here), sold his shares as part of a Rule 10b5-1 trading plan.

But Forstall and Rafael’s could have unloaded their Apple stock whenever they wanted, and they chose well. Forstall was the big winner, clearing more than $12 million. Rafael’s timing was particularly good. She sold 2,136 shares at $270.8775 on Friday, raking in nearly $580,000 in one trade.

Below the fold: The trades.

Executive Date Shares Price Net
Scott Forstall 04/23/10 35,012 $267.01 $9,348,554.12
04/23/10 10,100 $268.44 $2,711,244.00
Mark Papermaster 04/24/10 8,384 $270.83 $2,270,638.72
04/26/10 1,500 $268.70 $403,050.00
04/26/10 4,500 $270.12 $1,215,540.00
Betsy Rafael 04/23/10 2,136 $270.88 $578,594.34
Total 61,632 $16,527,621.18

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[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]