If there’s just one word we can ever use to describe Donald Stellwag (aka Big Mäck), it would have to be cunning, considering the meticulous way he has handled everything life has thrown at him. After all, as explored in Netflix’s original documentary film ‘Big Mäck: Gangsters and Gold,’ this includes addiction, bullying, cancer, false imprisonment, heist accusations, as well as much more. So now, if you simply wish to learn more about him — with a specific focus on his root background, his career trajectory, and his overall current net worth — we’ve got the essential details for you.
How Did Donald Stellwag Earn His Money?
Although Donald was born in 1957 to a US soldier temporarily stationed in Germany and a local mother, he was primarily raised by his maternal grandparents in the small village of Fuchsstadt. That’s actually because while the former had soon returned to his homeland, the latter sadly passed away when he was only a young boy, leaving him with the reputation of a “Yankee Bastard.” Therefore, he admittedly relocated to Frankfurt almost as soon as possible to dive into all the different facets a metropolitan city like it could offer, leading him to step into the world of business as well.
Donald reportedly kickstarted his career as a commercial apprentice, just to then work as an assistant at a painting and scaffolding company before setting up his own competitive scaffolding firm. However, he soon went bankrupt owing to a combination of its failure as well as his getting sick with pituitary tumors, sparking his trouble with the law on drug, extortion, and fraud charges too. The truth is the then-25-year-old wasn’t expected to live for long, which is why he began experimenting with really hardcore substances such as heroin prior to finally dipping his toes in criminality.
“I bought a lot of drugs and sold them to street-level sellers,” Donald candidly said in the Netflix production. “I made good money. We also set up illegal casinos. That’s where the gamblers went upon taking loans from us at horrendous rates. I also did various scams and stole items.” He actually had a big rap sheet under his name, driving him to cross into the new Eastern States for a fresh start once the Berlin Wall came down in 1989. It was there he seemingly crossed all bounds by evolving into a mastermind Drucker/salesperson to become quite a big name amongst major publishers.
“Officially, I was a janitor,” Donald asserted in the documentary movie. “Unofficially, [I was] the head of the Drucker. We made an insane amount of money. Insane.” In fact, he maintains that if he hadn’t been falsely imprisoned for close to nine years in connection to a late 1992 bank robbery, he would’ve been a press mogul today. Nevertheless, since he managed to hone his Marketing knowledge through reading while behind bars, he managed to sell his narrative on a myriad of platforms following his 2001 release.
From government compensation for his false incarceration, his defamation lawsuit win against the anthropology expert to have testified against him, and his steady media appearances, Donald earned money through it all. Yet, his primary source of income until 2008 was admittedly the product placements he did in nearly every television interview for a local brewery — whether it be through his printed t-shirts or caps with their name/logo. According to him, he sometimes earned exabadandantly just for wearing these advertising articles.
“If I told you how much money I made through the media, you wouldn’t believe me,” Donald said. “You don’t think the 500 or 1,000 Euros I got for each appearance were my only earnings? No. My earnings came from product placements for a brewery.” But once he stepped away from the limelight, he still did his best to get back on his own two feet by investing in different businesses as well as launching his own antique/jewel shop in Lauf called Gold Oasis.
Donald Stellwag’s Net Worth
When Donald was running Gold Oasis, his bank accounts were undeniably “full. We always had a lot of cash in the shop. In Lauf, we lived like Gods. In luxury. High end… We delt in gold, in diamonds… The profit was all right.” Hence, considering his connections, it was no surprise he got implicated in a late 2009 gold heist, only to walk away free owing to his unfit health prognosis — he’s obese, has cancer, and is essentially bedridden. However, from what we can tell, because he invested a lot of his earnings and still tries to do his best to hustle, we believe his net worth is close to $2 million as of writing.