After becoming involved in major labor racketeering and loansharking, DiNapoli went over to stocks and schemes during the mid-1980s, along with his brother Louis DiNapoli, a made man in the Genovese family. This involved setting up three front companies, which actually involved more than a dozen illegal contracts and shell companies, for the work in schools, hospitals and subways. This was a former operation between the brothers, to ease the relationship between the Lucchese and the Genovese crime families, since Louis DiNapoli was listed as a soldier for the Genovese crime family, and Joseph, as a caporegime for the Luccheses, during the early 1990s by federal prosecutors.
On May 17, 1995, Joseph and Louis DiNapoli were indicted for illegally obtaining $5 million in asbestos-removal and construction contracts from New York City and New York state agencies that were intended for minority-owned companies. It appeared that the three companies were owned by an African-American man, a Hispanic man and a woman, but their efforts had been plagued by abuses, including allegations that many companies benefiting from the programs were controlled by white businessmen.
During the following months, Joey DiNapoli was charged with fraud, labor racketeering, and loansharking in two separate counts, all predicates under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). In 1998, after being acquitted on the racketeering charges, DiNapoli was sentenced to 60 months in prison for loansharking and fraud.
On September 17, 1999 DiNapoli was released from prison after 29 months, he went back to his crew in the Bronx. In 2003, with almost half the family on trial, boss Vittorio "Vic" Amuso, decided to create a Three-Man-Panel to run the day-to-day operations in place of the acting boss position. Migliore, Madonna, and DiNapoli, and were selected to run the family.
Until 2012, DiNapoli sat on the Ruling Committee/Panel, the administration of the Lucchese crime family. Steven "Wonderboy" Crea replaced the panel as boss of the family when Amuso stepped down in prison.
On December 18, 2007, New Jersey law enforcement indicted and arrested DiNapoli and 32 other members and associates of the Lucchese crime family. In a year-long investigation titled "Operation Heat" law enforcement agencies uncovered a $2.2 billion illegal gambling, money laundering and racketeering ring from New Jersey to Costa Rica. Along with DiNapoli ruling panel member Matthew Madonna and top New Jersey Faction capos Ralph V. Perna and Nicodemo Scarfo, Jr. were indicted.
On October 1, 2009 DiNapoli was indicted along with Matthew Madonna and 27 others in a racketeering scheme that made approximately $400 million from gambling, loansharking, gun trafficking and extortion.