A TRW Inc. official apologized for the company's role in a defense fraud case after the company paid a $3 million penalty for conspiring to overcharge the government for military aircraft and M-1 tank parts. "TRW as a company deeply regretted that the events occurred. We have taken steps to try and prevent a recurrence of those incidents," William B. Lawrence, TRW vice president and assistant secretary, said Thursday outside U.S. District Court in Cleveland. Minutes earlier, Lawrence had waived the company's right to a trial and entered a guilty plea before Judge George W. White. The combined fine and criminal penalty was one of the largest ever assessed against a defense contractor, according to U.S. Attorney Patrick McLaughlin. Four former TRW employees pleaded guilty earlier to conspiring to defraud the government, and a fifth is to be tried Sept. 6 on charges of conspiracy and making false statements.