Juergen Mossack, co-founder of the firm at the center of the Panama Papers, didn't know that associates of top politicians from around the world were using his company to help hide money, he told CNBC in a Friday interview.
Mossack Fonseca, the Panamian law firm under intense scrutiny because of the release of four decades of documents detailing the establishment of offshore companies for the global elite, has always sought to follow the laws in its jurisdiction, Mossack said. And, he added, if the firm had ever discovered its clients were tied to individuals like Russian President Vladimir Putin, it would've immediately stopped those dealings.
Still, Mossack was not appreciative of the recent data leak that has been dubbed the Panama Papers by the international media.
"We were alarmed because this is obviously something that shouldn't be out there," he told CNBC. "Private information is private and should remain private."
And that information, Mossack said, did not demonstrate any wrongdoing on the part of his firm.
"There are many firms where you don't even have to be an attorney who are company providers in the United Kingdom, in the United States, in many European countries, and they all do the same business as we do," he said. "We haven't done anything illegal, so that means we haven't been caught: We have been hacked."