What is clear is that Sahara recruited a large number of investors who probably did not realise the complexity of the products they were being sold.
The OFCD's structure was akin to a regular savings scheme.
But Sahara's customers did not benefit from the protection associated with a public issue, or enjoy the safeguards that depositors get when they put money in a bank.
Even now, many investors remain oblivious to the fact that they are due a refund.
If Sahara doesn't pony up within 90 days (by November 30), the Supreme Court has instructed SEBI to use all legal means to claim the cash, including seizing Sahara property and freezing bank accounts.
The regulator may need those powers: the balance sheets of the two firms which raised the OFCDs suggest that they lack the assets to pay back the full amount on their own.
Image: Subrata Roy Sahara with Maharashtra governor K Sankaranarayanan in this file photo.