Am I obligated to report these things?

My husband has told me about co-workers who have done dishonest things–like stealing cases of water, using co-worker’s names to get company paid hotel accommodations, and now he tells me about someone who was divorced but then remained living with his wife for many years, but according to their boss, never informed his health insurance that he was divorced. Now the wife has died and there are many medical bills that are being paid by the health insurance. I have told my husband I do NOT want to know about these things anymore. Am I obligated to do anything in these cases or should I mind my own business? I have an examination of conscience that says, “Have I failed to report to someone in authority the certain sins of a neighbor, which I knew were doing harm to innocent persons or to the community as a whole?” I went to Intellius to try to see if this co-worker has a divorce record listed, but now I feel I may have sinned because I was sticking my nose where it didn’t belong and because I tried to find out if there was a divorce record listed, but I didn’t want to pay to see the actual record–I just wanted to know if there was a divorce period. So then I felt like I had tried to “steal” information, but the site only listed “3 records” and didn’t say which they were, so I didn’t find out anything anyway. I would have to go to the courthouse where this person lives (1/2 hour away) to find it, and I’m not going to do that. Any thoughts on this? I am preparing to go to confession tomorrow…would you confess any of this or am I being scrupulous?

Sorry, but I’m going to be blunt- You need to leave other people’s business alone. While your husband may have told you these things, it’s not your concern and you don’t know all the facts…nor do you need to. It’s not your concern!!! You could stir up a big mess for someone and what you think you know or heard about the situation may not even be true. Please talk to your confessor about your obsession with what you think is going on with others that doesn’t concern you. Your job is to keep watch on your own household and not get yourself caught up in the issues of others. This is not a case of your neighbors obviously dealing drugs or hurting their children or pets, either.

As far as the divorce/insurance thing goes. I am shocked that the insurance company hasn’t found this out. They have social security numbers etc and they check into claims to make sure they aren’t getting taken. So I wonder if they really did get divorced or what because those companies will do anything they can to not have to pay on a claim, especially a large one.

If he truly is divorced and the fraud is uncovered he is in BIG trouble! I do know couples with health issues that remained married so the spouse could receive benefits even though they no longer considered themselves a couple.

Most insurance companies have fraud report numbers, you could just call and let them know you suspect fraud and let them do their own fact finding. Your name will be kept out of it, and you will have fulfilled your duty.

I cannot speak to whether or not you are obligated as far as your faith is concerned, speak to your confessor on that. But I do think that you can report suspected fraud easily and safely and let the company take it from there.

Unless this co-worker told you this directly, I would consider it hearsay. The co-worker may or may not have committed fraud. This could very well just be a rumor going around the office or the co-worker telling a lie to make himself look better (sticking it to the man). You have no obligation to do anything here, other than maybe prayer for God to handle the situation according to His will.

If the person never reported the divorce to his health insurance, than he has been paying the premiums based on having a spouse. Additionally, in many divorces one spouse is required to continue to have coverage for the other spouse on their insurance policy. Anyway, it seems the health insurance has been billing him as if he was married since they didn’t know he was divorced. Something to think about

Well, do you live in the US? Then you could comfort yourself with the knowledge that we’re pretty quickly becoming a lawless nation. The government actively aiding and abetting the violation of law, utilization of government agencies for party politcal purposes and realize— why do you want to uphold the authority of a government which is itself aiding and abetting violation of the laws on a masssive scale? For example, immigration law.

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In fact, I truly explained that to a judge when selected for a jury-- I will not convict someone under the laws of a government which is itself aiding and abetting the violation of law on a massive scale. Its isn’t right, it isn’t just.

Next, I would never report something based on being told second hand. Even from my spouse. But before reporting anyone to an authority, I would give them the chance first to make it right themselves. Similar to Jesus instruction to us that if we have a problem with our brother to first approach him in private.

This was my first thought. She has to have been paying premiums.

I understand the feeling of obligation, however look at the chain of information. You heard it from your husband who heard it from his boss who heard it from the insurance company that this couple never reported their divorce. I believe you are so far removed from this situation you are not obligated to report, and could be crossing the line into “bearing false witness.”

Also understand, many insurance companies cover gay couples who are not married and also live-in couples who are not married! So the idea they would cover a woman who is no longer married would not be that odd as long as she is paying premiums (as I see it)…

The remaining question is fixation on the sins of others, I have struggled with this myself so I speak from experience. Think of how much TIME you spent worrying and researching the sins of someone else. That, in my opinion, is time that could be better spent examining your own sins and putting the energy there instead. I am not dismissing the idea that we are obligated to report known crimes, far from it. However you are so far removed from this I would let it go. God bless.

Yes, you are being scrupulous. All of this information is hearsay.

If you are going to Confession tomorrow, you might talk to your priest about scrupulosity.

Thank you. Who knows if they maybe filed for divorce at one time and it was never finalized or maybe they got remarried and no one knew it? It would have been more the responsiblity of the boss to tell the employee at the time (this has been awhile ago) that he needed to notify the insurance. He really didn’t need to be telling my husband about it anyway. I was going to go to confession this morning, but I was so confused and upset about this and other topics, that I decided to try to calm down, ask some questions, make my final decisions about what to confess, and go tomorrow.

This is true and a good way to look at it. Your husband’s boss has no business discussing the private lives of coworkers especially medical insurance matters. Your husband is not entitled to this private information.

God bless.

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