A truck driver who was caught with the largest pile of illegal cash in Australian history has been sentenced to three years and three months in jail, admitting it was ‘the worst decision of my life’.

Nathan Ferguson, 54, appeared in WA District Court on Tuesday on charges of receiving, possessing, concealing, disposing or dealing with money believed to be the proceeds of crime.

He was arrested by Western Australia police in November 2020 in Coolgardie, 550km east of Perth, in a truck that was carrying more than $13million.

More than half the money was hidden in a water tank while the rest was in a cardboard box concealed in the wall of the vehicle, the West Australian reported.

Ferguson was released from custody shortly after being arrested, but was then extradited from NSW back to WA in October 2022 charged with couriering $6,059,181.

Ferguson received a slightly reduced sentence because the prosecution could not prove he had any role in loading the cash or that he knew the larger sum was in the water tank. 

Truck driver Nathan Ferguson (pictured right), who was caught with the largest ever pile of illegal cash in Australian history, was sentenced on Tuesday

Truck driver Nathan Ferguson (pictured right), who was caught with the largest ever pile of illegal cash in Australian history, was sentenced on Tuesday

Ferguson was arrested by Western Australia police in November 2020 in Coolgardie, 550km east of Perth, in a truck that was carrying more than $13million (some of the money is pictured)

Ferguson was arrested by Western Australia police in November 2020 in Coolgardie, 550km east of Perth, in a truck that was carrying more than $13million (some of the money is pictured)

The court heard that Ferguson suffered a series of losses, including the destruction of his home in a bushfire and the death of a friend in an industrial accident.

These were given as reasons behind the downward spiral that led to him transporting millions of dollars across the country for a an organised crime gang.

Ferguson was due to be paid $50,000 for moving the millions of dollars, a fee Judge Mark Ritter said was of ‘some significance’ and showed a ‘degree of trust’ placed in him by the criminals who hired him.

‘It is also indicative that you were aware, to some extent, of the criminal enterprise involved.’

The judge took Ferguson’s guilty plea, remorse, isolation his family, mental health issues and attempts to rehabilitate himself into account in sentencing him.

Judge Ritter also accepted the truckie had told a psychologist the reasons he got involved in the criminal enterprise and that in a letter to the court he apologised for what he did, saying it was the ‘worst decision he had ever made’.

Losing his home in a bushfire has left Ferguson in financial trouble and also led to his estrangement from his daughter, who blamed him for not paying the insurance premium on the house.

The court also heard the truck driver suffers from depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder and had abused drugs in the past.

Police officers are seen standing behind a table holding millions of dollars that were seized from a truck

Police officers are seen standing behind a table holding millions of dollars that were seized from a truck

Ferguson said in his letter of apology that it hurt him to be away from his elderly mother who he had not seen since he arrest.

He said he was ’embarrassed and ashamed’ by his actions and that he was lonely in jail because he was not able to see his partner, family and friends, who are all in the eastern states.

But the judge found there was not anything exceptional in Ferguson’s circumstances and that a suspended sentence was not appropriate.

Ferguson is eligible for parole after serving half of his term, which was backdated to his arrest in October 2022, meaning he could be free next month.

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