Daily Herald - Suburban Chicago's source for news This copy is for personal, non-commercial use. To order presentation-ready copies for distribution you can: 1) Use the "Reprint" button found on the top and bottom of every article, 2) Visit reprints.theygsgroup.com/dailyherald.asp for samples and additional information or 3) Order a reprint of this article now.
Article updated: 4/24/2013 9:48 AM

Forgery trial begins for Cardamone's mom and office manager

By Justin Kmitch

An emotional first day of testimony concluded Tuesday with visibly frustrated American Gym office manager Andrea Arndt acknowledging she lied to a grand jury in 2010 and wasn't completely honest with police in 2008.

Arndt, 38 and Linda Lynch, the 62-year-old mother of a former Aurora gymnastics instructor convicted of improperly touching or restraining 14 students at the family's gym are on trial for forging schedules presented at Michael Cardamone's 2005 trial to make it look like he didn't train one of the victims, officials said.

Assistant State's Attorney Mike Pawl said Lynch and Arndt gathered in Cardamone's basement on several occasions between August and October 2004 to alter and recreate official business records to make it appear as if Cardamone was not an instructor of one of his accusers.

Pawl said numerous documents had been altered but prosecutors chose to focus on the schedules of one particular January day in 2000. Documents for that day, obtained during the initial search warrant showed Cardamone was working with his most recent accuser. In court Tuesday, Pawl presented the original schedule side by side with a schedule he said Arndt created, at Lynch's direction, in that basement in 2004 and would indicate Cardamone could not have been in contact with the girl.

"These documents were made in the basement a month before (Cardamone's) trial and purported to be official business records," Pawl said. "Your actions were illegal, unacceptable and reprehensible."

Arndt claimed not to remember much of any previous testimony she had given at Cardamone's trial and her own grand jury testimony, instead, often relying on Pawl's reading of transcripts from those events.

During her June 2010 grand jury testimony, Arndt denied she created any false documents after the initial search warrant. Tuesday she said she didn't know why she provided false information.

But she denied forging anything saying Lynch only directed her "to get all of the documents and everything in order" so they could present them to Cardamone's defense team.

The two were indicted in December 2008 after an appellate court overturned Cardamone's conviction on sexual abuse charges, citing trial errors. In November 2012, Cardamone pleaded guilty to aggravated battery and unlawful restraint charges -- but insisted he "never sexually abused anyone." He was sentenced to time served and required to register as a violent offender against youths.

During a break in Tuesday's proceedings, Lynch told a reporter the charges stemmed from bad blood between prosecutors and her family.

"It's all ridiculous," Lynch said. "This whole thing is some crazy vendetta because they're mad at us."

The trial resumes at 10 a.m. with the defense beginning it's cross-examination of Arndt. Lynch is also expected to take the stand.

Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.