The once little-known jeweler in Venice Beach, Calif., who accused Lindsay Lohan of shoplifting a $2,500 necklace is now attempting to cash in big time, selling the surveillance video to "Entertainment Tonight" and other celebrity shows for $35,000, according to RadarOnline.com.
When all sides agreed two weeks ago to keep the video tape private, a no-nonsense judge publicly sent Lohan an unmistakable message. "This case does involve jail time. Period," Judge Keith Schwartz said last month.
But legal experts say that if the key piece of the prosecution's evidence is now tainted, it may be the judge who receives an unmistakable message.
"He seems to have boxed himself into a corner without giving the opportunity to even listen to whatever evidence may be coming," former prosecutor Robin Sax told "Good Morning America."
A website created by a Beverly Hills, Calif., software company claimed to have "exclusive license" to the surveillance tape of Lindsay Lohan in the Venice Beach jewelry store where she allegedly stole a $2,500 necklace.
On the web site, necklacevideo.com, is a statement that it will stream segments of the video, although no date or time is given.
"Speculation as to what occurred that day has been the subject of intense rumor in the media and elsewhere," a statement on the website said. "Many individuals want to be able to see the video streams from the jewelry store's surveillance cameras, and we have obtained the exclusive license for them.
"The tapes speak for themselves," said the statement on the site, which was credited to the Spencer Company, a Beverly Hills, Calif., software company.
Cristopher Spencer, the president of The Spencer Company and a spokesperson for the jewelry store, Kamofie & Company, said the company decided to release the tape due to media interest and concerns that the media was mischaracterizing its contents.
"The bottom line is we felt there was far too much speculation about the video recording, and that it was right for the public to be able to see the video itself," Spencer said in a statement released to ABCNews.com.
"The jewelry store wanted a bidding war to maximize profits," RadarOnline quotes a source as saying. "They chopped up the sale to different outlets to make as much money as possible."
"Entertainment Tonight" obtained stills taken from the video, which shows Lohan in a black top trying on jewelry, with a video timestamp of Jan. 21, 2011.
The celebrity news show said it will air footage of the actress' shopping trip today.
Lohan's only public comments have been to the TV show "Extra," saying she is embarrassed by the legal spectacle.
"I don't like the attention," she said on Extra. "I don't want that, I want my attention to come through my films, from the work that I'm doing."
But on "Saturday Night Live," hosted by Miley Cyrus, Lindsay Lohan remained ever so close to the center of attention.
"Things are great, my new movie 'Herbie' opened 68 months ago and the Los Angeles court house just gave me my own parking spot … winning," an actress playing Lohan said.
The Los Angeles District Attorney's Office formally charged Lohan with felony grand theft Feb. 9. If convicted, Lohan could go to California state prison for up to three years. The actress will be back in front of Judge Schwartz Thursday.
Lohan's Jail-Time History
The 24-year-old actress already has been to jail three times in the past three years for DUI, drug possession and probation violations.
Lohan reportedly has said that the necklace was loaned to her by Kamofie & Co. and her assistant returned it to police.
After detectives started looking into the case and began preparing a search warrant, a friend of Lohan's brought the necklace to the Pacific Division police station.
The starlet, who is out on $40,000 bail, was told by Schwartz in February that if she accepts a plea deal from the district attorney and pleads guilty or no contest, she will go to jail.
"This case does involve jail time. Period," Schwartz told Lohan. "If you plead in front of me -- if this case resolves in front of me -- you are going to jail. Period. I don't want you under any apprehension. You will be going to jail."
Schwartz continued the case one more time, to March 10, to give Lohan's lawyer Shawn Chapman Holley a chance to review the evidence from prosecutors, while adding, "I get the impression that you're not going to accept the DA's offer."
If she rejects the prosecutor's offer and pleads not guilty, Schwartz will set the case for a preliminary hearing to go to a jury trial. And Lohan will go before another Superior Court judge who could still send her to jail for violating her probation stemming from her 2007 DUI case.
It's not the first time the star has been connected to a theft investigation.
In 2009, British police investigated the disappearance of $400,000 worth of Dior jewels from a photo shoot Lohan did with Britain's Elle magazine. At the time, Elle released a statement exonerating Lohan, saying, "Elle has no reason to believe that Lindsay Lohan was in any way responsible."
In 2008, Lohan was sued by a college student who claimed the actress stole and wore her $12,000 mink coat, and in April 2010, Lohan was questioned by police in connection with a stolen $35,000 Rolex. The person who filed the report withdrew her complaint before police could determine if a crime had been committed.