SmartMoney Blogs

Pay Dirt
A daily look at what we buy, how we spend, and the companies that do right - and wrong - by their customers.

The Bernie Madoff/Steve Jobs iPad Case

Frederick James

How can one make an iPad case fashioned from Bernie Madoff’s old pants even more bizarre? Apparently by turning it into a “tribute” to Steve Jobs.

John Vacarro, who made a splash earlier this year selling $450 gadget covers made from pieces of the Ponzi schemer’s wardrobe he snatched up at auction, was running out of Madoff shirts and slacks. So he stitched together a Frankenstein cover combining bits of Madoff attire with the late Apple founder’s fashion sensibility.

The “In Memoriam” case is an homage to Jobs’ trademark jeans and black turtleneck, says Vacarro, founder of Frederick James. Made from a new pair of Levi 501 jeans (apparently Jobs’ preferred brand) and one of Madoff’s black Prada cashmere sweaters, the case is a meeting of two marketing masterminds. None of Jobs’ actual clothing was harmed in the making of this case.

Vacarro defends the case as a tribute to the CEO. “Steve Jobs is the first ‘In Memoriam’ we have,” he says. “It felt fitting to honor him with an iPad cover emulating his often chosen choice of clothing.” A “portion of the profits” from the company will also be donated to Madoff’s victims’ fun, he says, but had yet to finalized a percentage.

At an auction by the U.S. Marshal’s office last year, Vaccaro bought a number of personal items belonging to Madoff, who operated what is widely regarded biggest Ponzi scheme in history. But they don’t come cheap. The iPad covers lined in Madoff’s old cashmere cost $125 to $150 each and they may not protect your iPad from breaking if you drop it, Vacarro says.

And there is a market for this. All of the original “Bernie Madoff Collection” sold out.


We welcome thoughtful comments from readers. Please comply with our guidelines. Our blogs do not require the use of your real name.

Comments (0)

    • Be the first to leave a comment on this blog.

About Pay Dirt

  • Pay Dirt examines the millions of consumer decisions Americans make every day: What to buy, how much to pay, whether to rave or complain. Lead written by Quentin Fottrell, the blog examines these interactions, providing readers with news, insight and tips on shopping, spending, customer service, and companies that do right – and wrong – by their customers. Send items, questions and comments to or tweet @SMPayDirt.