VIDEO shows fake 'Freedom to Breathe Agency' workers with BADGES tell a clerk she could be jailed for telling people to wear masks.
The Department of Justice previously warned that the group "is not a government agency" when they issued fake cards claiming people were exempt from wearing face masks due to "'a mental and/or physical risk."
Video shared on social media shows a woman wearing a "FTBA" badge and threatening that an employee at the Orange County, California health store could be fined or go to jail for enforcing coronavirus face masks.
She'd handed an employee a paper, and went into a rant about alleged "major legal liability" she claimed the store worker could face.
"You personally need to take this to your manager because you personally can be sued for this, OK?" the woman, identified by Buzzfeed as Lenka Koloma, claimed.
The employee – identified as Liz Chavez, 31, told Koloma that she was just following her store policy.
Chavez is a supervisor at the store, Buzzfeed reported.
"You are putting yourself into major legal liability — you personally," Koloma claimed.
Chavez told Buzzfeed that the paper claimed she "could go to prison for up to 3 to 5 years and I could get fined up to 10,000 dollars for telling them to wear a mask if I'm not a doctor.
Under California law, face masks are required when not at home amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The state's COVID-19 website states masks are mandatory "in any indoor public space" and "at work, when near others or moving through common areas," among other areas where social distancing is not possible.
When speaking with Buzzfeed, Koloma said she and the woman she was with "both have medical, health conditions and also religious beliefs that do not allow us to wear a mask."
She claimed that people who are not doctors that instruct others to wear masks is potential cause for legal action as they are impersonating a healthcare professional, Buzzfeed reported.
In late June, the DOJ issued a warning about the FTBA group giving out fake "face mask exempt" cards, and that the group is not a government agency.
"Do not be fooled by the chicanery and misappropriation of the DOJ eagle,” U.S. Attorney Martin said in a statement.
“These cards do not carry the force of law. The ‘Freedom to Breathe Agency,’ or ‘FTBA,’ is not a government agency.”
The CDC has urged that all people wear a face mask when it's not possible to social distance, to help curb virus spread.
"Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus – particularly when used universally within a community setting," CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said in a statement.
"All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families, and their communities," he added.
The video emerged as COVID-19 cases in the US continue to climb past 5million, with more than 162,000 deaths.
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