'Shiny Flakes' Tells the True Story of Maximilian Schmidt, Who Inspired 'How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast)'

Shannon Raphael - Author

Jul. 13 2021, Published 1:34 p.m. ET

Maximilian Schmidt
Source: Netflix

While many subscribers have tuned in to the Netflix series, How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast), few may have realized that the German-language original is based on a true story.

The show tells the story of a booksmart teenager, Moritz Zimmermann (Maximilian Mundt), and his best friend, Lenny Sander (Danilo Kamperidis), who begin to sell drugs to impress Moritz's ex-girlfriend.

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The concept of the series is inspired by Maximilian Schmidt, a Leipzig native who created a drug empire out of his childhood bedroom. The German government seized about 4.1 million euros worth of drugs from Schmidt's home, and he operated his business under the name and website, Shiny Flakes.

While in prison, Schmidt told his side of the story and how he created a drug empire online as a teenager for the Netflix documentary, Shiny Flakes: The Teenage Drug Lord. The trailer for the true crime film dropped on July 13.

Maximilian Schmidt
Source: Netflix
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The 'Shiny Flakes' trailer sheds light on Maximilian Schmidt, who sold drugs out of his childhood bedroom.

Though the discovery of Schmidt's drug trafficking operation got a lot of attention in Germany when it first happened, and it inspired the popular Netflix series, there is still a lot of mystery surrounding how he executed it all.

A lot of the money that he made from selling drugs like ecstasy, marijuana, LSD, meth, cocaine remains unaccounted for. Schmidt sold drugs through his ShinyFlakes.com website, which existed for two years.

He packed up the drugs in his bedroom in the home he shared with his mother, and he used a local postal service to send them out.

Schmidt is now sharing his story for Shiny Flakes: The Teenage Drug Lord.

"You paid upfront, then it was processed and shipped," he said in the trailer. "Instead of shoes, you got drugs."

He said that he was scared at first about getting involved in such a serious criminal act.

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"In the beginning, I was afraid and thought, 'Is it like in the movies? You do this, and then the police come?'" he recalled.

Eventually, the police did figure out what he was doing. Schmidt was arrested in February 2015, when he was just 20 years old. He ultimately confessed in September 2015, and the German court made the decision to try him as a minor. He was sentenced to seven years behind bars.

When is the 'Shiny Flakes' release date?

The documentary is directed by Michael Schmitt, and Matthias Murmann is an Executive Producer. Eva Müller wrote and produced Shiny Flakes as well.

The film is 96 minutes long, and it will be available to stream on Netflix in the United States on Aug. 3 at 3 a.m. ET.

Before the story of Maximilian Schmidt comes out, viewers can check out more episodes of the fictionalized version of his crimes. The third and final season of How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast) will be available on the streamer on July 27.

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