The corporate fraud narrative suggests that misleading and inaccurate accounts engender misplaced confidence that robs creditors and investors alike. Yet, this view underplays nested ambiguities in business accounts first in the (im)possibility of accuracy in a set of accounts and second in the constituent figures themselves as embodying uncertain monetary value. This article analyses these phenomena and argues that confidence, nurtured by governments through their regulatory practices, is essential to maintaining perceived integrity to both in spite of continuing ambiguity. This management of confidence is engendered through the interdependent yet contested relationships between government, business and professional elites. Corporate fraud is embedded within these relationships and hence difficult to dislodge without threatening the productiveness that business promises and government craves. Criminalization of corporate fraud deflects attention to one of these actors, the business and its directors, without clear recognition of the role played by government itself.