Isabella "Bella" Giannulli is the oldest daughter of Lori Loughlin, who pled not guilty in the college admissions scandal

By Claudia Harmata
September 17, 2019 03:07 PM
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Isabella “Bella” Giannulli still has reason to celebrate.

The eldest daughter of actress Lori Loughlin turned 21 on Monday and appeared to thank fans on social media for sending well wishes her way.

“thank u for the love,” she captioned a series of photos on Instagram to commemorate her milestone. One of the pictures was a sweet throwback photo from her toddler days, smiling at the camera while showing off one of her toys.

The birthday comes just days after Felicity Huffman was sentenced to 14 days behind bars for her role in the college admissions scandal, in which Bella’s parents have also been charged.

Isabella Rose Giannulli/ Instagram

After Huffman’s sentence was announced last week, a source told PEOPLE that Loughlin, 55, was trying to “process” what this could mean for her and her family.

“Lori is aware of Felicity’s sentence, and is processing what that means for her,” the source said. “Her only move now is to take this to court and to prove that she is not guilty of what she’s charged with.”

On March 12, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts charged 50 people in the nationwide cheating scandal. The two actresses, along with the Full House star’s husband Mossimo Giannulli, were among those indicted on accusations of falsifying SAT scores and lying about their children’s athletic skills, among other alleged crimes.

Their cases, however, are very different. The Desperate Housewives star faced less jail time than Loughlin from the beginning — and while Huffman accepted a plea deal in May, Loughlin did not. (Loughlin and her husband stand accused of paying $500,000 to have their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew. The couple pleaded not guilty in April after turning down a plea deal because it included jail time.)

“If [Loughlin]’s found guilty, she will go to jail; that is clear,” the source told PEOPLE. “And if another deal is offered to her, which I don’t think it will be, she will go to jail. Her only chance of avoiding jail is to beat these charges.”

Gabriel Olsen/Getty

Huffman received a more lenient sentence after she pled guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud. In addition to the 14-day sentence, the judge fined her $30,000 and said she would be on supervised release for one year. She will also have to complete 250 hours of community service.

RELATED VIDEO: Felicity Huffman Sentenced to 14 Days Behind Bars in College Admissions Scam

The insider close to Loughlin added that she “regrets” not taking a deal.

“She didn’t understand the entire nature of the charges against her, and she wasn’t even sure if or how she had broken the law,” the source said. “It was very early, and she didn’t have all the information that she has now. Based on what she understood at the time, she made the best choice for herself. Now there is no deal on the table, and she has to have faith that the courts and the prosecution will move fairly and not make an example out of her.”

“This has been a rough day,” the source continued. “Lori is going to move forward as best as she can, but now she has a little more clarity about what will happen next.”

While their parents continue to fight the scandal, Bella and her sister Olivia Jade, 19, have stayed out of the spotlight.

“Olivia and Bella continue to spend a lot of time with friends. They visit people’s houses, or have friends over,” a source told PEOPLE in August. “They prefer this to going out.”