MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - A local attorney is facing felony charges after attempting to renew his visa.
West Texas personal injury attorney, Rahul Malhotra, is facing federal charges.
He's accused of making false statements related to his visa.
The attorney was charged and indicted after homeland security began an investigation on his citizenship status.
The attorney is a citizen of Canada, but was granted a TN Visa in 1997, after providing proof he was working for an Odessa law firm.
This type of visa is only given to lawyers, teachers, engineers, scientist, pharmacist, and accountants to work in the U.S. as long as they are not self-employed.
Every three years, he had to renew his visa providing paperwork from his employer. The federal indictment says he provided false documents in December of 2010. The documents were allegedly written by the lawyer who initially employed him back in 1997.
In 2000, he had opened "The Malhotra Law Firm," which violates the visa's conditions.
Malhotra repeated the offense in October of 2014.
He allegedly told a Homeland Security special agent that he was not the majority shareholder of "The Malhotra Law Firm."
His attorney Dan Cogdell told NewsWest 9 the statements Malhotra provided about his previous employer in Odessa being the majority shareholder are true.
Malhotra bonded out December 18 after his hearing.
A court appearance has been scheduled for February 29.