With a pretrial hearing scheduled for Thursday and trial set to start Sept. 5, the filings are flying in the federal criminal case of R. Alan Hope and Mikel C. Kullander.
Hope, president of Powers of Arkansas in North Little Rock, and Kullander, owner of Kullander Construction Co. in Little Rock, were indicted in December on multiple felony counts related to an alleged scheme to get millions of dollars in federal contracts by falsely claiming another company they formed in 2007, DAV Construction Co., was headed by a disabled veteran.
Hope originally faced 30 counts and Kullander 31, but two counts against each were dismissed after defense attorneys persuaded U.S. District Judge Leon Holmes that the statute of limitations had run on those particular counts.
One of the motions filed last week by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Mazzanti asks Holmes to bar the defendants from blaming the federal government for failing to notice problems with DAV Construction’s qualifications earlier. “A victim’s negligence is no defense to a fraud charge,” she wrote.
Hope is being represented by Little Rock defense attorneys Tim Dudley and former U.S. Attorney Chuck Banks. Kullander’s defense attorneys are Jane Duke, also a former U.S. attorney, and her colleague at Mitchell Williams Selig Gates & Woodyard, Anton Leo Janik Jr.