Throughout The Sopranos' run, Tony Soprano's illicit work as a mob boss accrued an impressive amount of wealth, but his exact net worth is unclear. In order to explore themes of greed and corruption, a lot of prestige TV dramas revolve around rich characters with ill-gotten gains. Succession is about the spoils of an unscrupulous media empire; Mad Men is about a top advertising firm that practically prints its own money. But unlike Logan Roy and Don Draper, whose wealth comes from more legitimate and taxable sources, Tony's revenue streams in The Sopranos are trickier to trace.
Crime stories are a great vehicle to explore the corrupting power of wealth. After a powerful gangster like Tony starts earning money, no matter what horrible things they had to do to get it, it's never enough. At the beginning of Breaking Bad's run, Walter White was determined he needed to make $737,000 before quitting the meth business. But by the end of the series, he had $80 million stuffed into a storage unit. Whereas Breaking Bad always gave precise figures to illustrate how much money Walt made as a meth kingpin, The Sopranos was a lot vaguer about Tony's net worth.
During The Sopranos' run, Dan Castleman, an assistant D.A. in New York, acted as a technical consultant to ensure the realism of the show's portrayal of organized crime. In an interview with Rolling Stone, series creator David Chase revealed that Castleman estimated Tony's net worth to be somewhere between $5 million and $6 million. Castleman explained how the Five Families make their money to Chase and the writers, which informed their depiction of Tony's ruthless business tactics. Tony famously claims to be in waste management, but the truth is that his money comes from a few different sources.
Tony Soprano's primary source of income is loan-sharking, not his waste management consultancy. His crew engages in various criminal activities like bookmaking, extortion, and truck hijacking. They also use legitimate businesses like the Bada Bing! strip club and Satriale's Pork Store to launder money. Tony's net worth is estimated to be around $5-6 million but fluctuates due to his gambling addiction. The show portrays the dark consequences of a life of crime.