The Archbishop of Dublin turned in a priest who falsely advertised himself in an Irish newspaper as a psychiatrist.
Dr Diarmuid Martin reported the 57-year-old Fr Anthony Fagan to police after he spotted the advert.
Fr Egan, who claimed he had studied at Harvard University, wanted to earn cash treating patients but police enquiries failed to discover any qualifications from the American college.
A Dublin court has heard that Fr Egan was duped into paying €1,000 to complete a fraudulent degree in psychiatry from a fake university in an internet scam.
Police only began investigations after Archbishop Martin saw the newspaper advertisement and contacted them.
The Dublin District Court was told that Fr Egan placed the ad because he wanted to build up his client base and ‘earn some money’.
The Evening Herald newspaper reports that the priest has denied that he, as an unregistered medical practitioner, falsely advertised his services, contrary to the Medical Practitioners Act 2007.
His Defence lawyer, Dara Robinson, claimed that the charge specifically relates to unregistered medical practitioners, which Fr Egan is not, and he cannot be guilty of an offence under the Act.
Judge Grainne Malone is to make a decision on the case this week.
The court heard police officer Tara Dolan say that she was contacted by Dr Martin about an advertisement in the Irish Times on January 26, 2011 in which Fr Egan advertised himself as a psychiatrist, Dr Anthony Egan.
She later visited Fr Egan’s home and asked to see his qualifications. Fr Egan met her in Mountjoy Garda (police) Station in April 2011 and produced several documents as proof of his qualifications.
The officer said she made queries and was not satisfied with the documents.
In a later interview, Fr Egan admitted he was not a registered doctor in this jurisdiction but claimed to have parallel qualifications and to have studied at the University of California, Berkeley, and at colleges in London and Germany.
Officer Dolan said she checked with the Irish Medical Council and Fr Egan was not registered with them.
When police searched Fr Egan’s house in June 2011, numerous business cards were found claiming that the defendant was Dr Egan, and he was a psychiatrist.